Paternity establishment

What does paternity establishment mean?

Paternity establishment is the legal process of identifying the father of a child. This is important because the father’s name is typically listed on the child’s birth certificate. The legal father is also responsible for financially supporting the child. 

Voluntary Acknowledgment of paternity

There are several ways to establish the paternity of a child.

  1. The alleged father signs a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity(VAP) at the hospital after the child is born.
  2. If the alleged father is unavailable at the time of the child’s birth. The VAP can be signed at child support services or local birth registrar.
  3. Another option is filing a petition in Family Court and allowing the Judge to issue a court order. A court order can only be issued if the Judge accepts the petition. In most instances, the judge will request a paternity test be performed between the father and child or children.

Why is it important to establish paternity?

The importance of establishing paternity allows the child to know where he or she comes from. It helps the child to better understand themselves. 

It also allows the child to receive financial support from both their father and mother. In addition, if any medical issues occur and both parents are in the child’s life it may provide an opportunity to save the child.

genetic testing for child support cases

Can a paternity test be performed to establish paternity?

Yes. There are a few situations where legal paternity testing is used for paternity establishment. One is when both the alleged biological father and the mother of the child are in agreement that a paternity test is needed to prove paternity. 

Once the results are completed. A copy of your results can be used for evidence submission in Family Court. It should be noted that this option is only available to unmarried parents. When couples are married and a child is conceived. The husband is automatically deemed the legal father of the child.

If you are in need of DNA testing services to establish the paternity of your child, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 888-204-0583  for more information.

Do I need a lawyer to file a paternity petition with a Judge?

No. We always recommend that you seek a consultation with a lawyer in your state to ensure that you understand your state’s paternity laws.