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.
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.