• With fatherhood come rights and obligations. When paternity of a child is established, the father has the right to see the child and become involved in the child’s life. Whether or not the father elects to become involved, the father still has an obligation to support the child, pursuant to law.
      • When there is an issue of paternity, important questions must be answered in order to protect the rights and interests of all concerned.
      • Establishing Parental Rights and Responsibilities
        • If you are a mother looking to establish paternity for your child, it is important to act as soon after the birth of your child as possible. Paternity is critical in establishing child support payments that you may need to meet the day-to-day living expenses of your child.
        • If you think you may be the father of a child, you need to establish paternity in order to obtain custody and visitation rights over your child. If you doubt that you are the father of a child born into your marriage, you may face significant legal challenges if you wish to avoid the obligation to support the child, as any child born into a marriage is legally presumed to be the child of the husband.

 

  • Whether you are seeking to establish, defend, or deny paternity, you must file a paternity petition, which is served upon the other party and filed in family court. Once the petition is filed, evidence will be sought and considered, including DNA blood tests.