When the situation arises that the state of fatherhood is in question or when the biological father of a child is unknown, paternity action should be taken. Paternity is the issue of assessing the biological relationship between a father and child, and the determination of whether or not a biological relationship exists. Paternity is not as easily determined as maternity, which is firmly established at birth. Paternity cases are often very complicated, as investigation is required and legal action often has to be taken. This situation occurs in some complicated divorce cases involving children.

Paternity affects areas of a divorce such as child custody and visitation rights and these arrangements might require modification. If you are not the biological father of a child you are supporting, you may not be required to pay child support. Whether you are a mother wanting to obtain child support or you are a father wanting to prove a legitimate biological relationship with your child, paternity determinations can be requested from the Court. After being legally identified as the biological father of a child, you may be is required to provide for his or her financial needs and well-being.

The purpose of an acknowledgment of paternity is to identify the signing man as the biological father of a child and allow his name to appear on the child’s birth certificate. This is for two people who are not joined in matrimony and have a child out of wedlock. It can either be signed at the hospital after birth of the child, or later at the Department of Social Services. A father has rights that need to be acknowledged and this form will ensure that they are met.

Please contact our office if you are interested in exploring whether a Paternity action is the right option for you.