Are you the father?

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2023 | Family Law

Paternity is an important concept in the law. Not only does it establish a biological relationship between you and your child, but it could also come with some legal responsibilities. It also might form the basis for you to obtain custody or visitation rights.

There are a few ways that you might establish paternity. There also could be some ways to stop a spurious child support action.

Voluntary paternity

Your status as father is a presumption if you and the mother of the child are married when the child is born. However, you do not have to be married to the mother of your children to be their father.

Another way to establish paternity is by signing Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment Form. You typically do this at the hospital or at the records office in the child’s birth county. You may also do it at the State Office of Vital Records.

Testing paternity

The final category of ways to establish paternity is by official order. One example of this is by going through the court to have the Division of Child Support Services administer a paternity test.

In fact, there is a law that requires DCSS to conduct a test in the event that your child support action has an unresolved paternity issue. In other words, you would probably not have to pay support if you turn out not to be the biological father. The mother might even be responsible for paying the testing fees.

If you recently found evidence that you are not the father, you might be able to cancel a voluntary acknowledgment form. However, this option would only be available to you up to 60 days after you signed the form or up to the date the court issued an order.