Establishing Paternity

Determining PaternityIn all Child Support cases Paternity must be established. So what is Paternity? Paternity is declaring who the legal father of a child is after the child is born. The child will not have a legal father until paternity is established. This can be done in several ways. In virtually all cases, if the mother was married during the pregnancy, the husband will be presumed to be the father. In some cases though, the husband will deny that he is the father of the child, and DNA testing will be required to determine Paternity. In cases where the father and mother are not married it can be a little more complicated.

Voluntary Paternity Establishment

Voluntary Paternity Establishment is the term used for cases in which both parents agree on who the biological father is. In those cases Paternity can be established by a simple process that doesn't require a court hearing. This is the case for most couple who were married during the pregnancy. It may also be used in cases where the mother and father were unwed, and agree on the child's Paternity. If both parties are in agreement as to the child's paternity their case can move on to the Child Support faze.

Paternity and Unwed Parents

In the case of unwed parents, children do not automatically have a legal father without a Paternity action. In some cases the Paternity can be established by the execution of an Acknowledgment of Paternity form without a formal court action. In other cases a DNA test may be ordered by the court to determine Paternity. There will be a fee for this service which will be paid by the father if testing is positive, or the mother if testing is negative.

DNA Testing

DNA TestingThere are two methods that are used for DNA testing both are reliable, and accurate making establishing paternity easier than in the past. DNA testing methods include SWAB Test and DNA Genetic Identity which is gained through a blood test. The standards are different from state to state, but a positive DNA reading of 95 to 100 percent creates a presumption that man is the father of the child. The easy access to DNA testing centers, and the low cost of testing is the reason, most paternity matters are settled prior to going to court. This makes it easier to when entering the Child Support and Custody portion of the trial.

Court Action to Establish Paternity

If the male in the case cannot be found, or does not does voluntarily consent to the process to establish Paternity, court action may be necessary. If the male in question cannot be located after reasonable effort, Paternity may be established without his consent. In this case Custody arrangement will be made in the mothers favor in his absence, and Support assessed against him.

Child Support and Custody

Now that Paternity has been established through the use of, Voluntary Paternity Establishment , the Acknowledgment of Paternity Form, DNA Testing, or Court Action. The courts can proceed and rule on Child Support and Custody issues.

Mom and Child Walking