Legal paternity is not always established at birth, even when the father’s identity is known and undisputed. Our experienced child custody attorneys can help you establish paternity and the parental rights that go along with it.
Legal paternity can be established by filing a petition in family court. Usually, but not always, the issue of paternity is consolidated with establishment of legal decision-making, parenting time, and child support. Once paternity is legally established, it can be very difficult or even impossible to disestablish, even with conclusive genetic evidence. Either parent may request genetic testing to confirm paternity.
Paternity also can be established through voluntary acknowledgment, a sworn statement signed by both parents and filed with the Department of Health Services, the Superior Court, or the Department of Economic Security. Voluntary acknowledgments of paternity are most commonly executed at the hospital after birth. Parents have six months to rescind or undo an acknowledgment of paternity.
PRESUMPTION OF PATERNITY
A man is presumed to be the father of a child if he and the mother were married at any time in the ten months immediately preceding the birth or if the birth certificate is signed by the mother and father when the parents are not married. This presumption does not establish any parental rights and can be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence.
Contact our family law attorneys for a free consultation.