Paternity involves the determination of the natural father of a child where the parties are not legally married at the time of the birth of the child. The relationship of the mother to the child is always presumed.
It is not uncommon today for people to live together without the formality of marriage. In this instance, request for child support or other relief by one parent from the other requires the determination of paternity. Without filing appropriate court pleadings, the natural father has no legal right to time sharing, decision making, or involvement in the child’s life. Likewise, the natural mother is not entitled to child support or any other level of financial assistance for the child from the natural father unless she files appropriate proceedings. Either the father or mother may pursue an order establishing paternity of the child. In most instances, DNA testing will be required to ascertain the truth.
Establishing or determining paternity can be a complex legal and difficult emotional process. Call us today for a consultation to discuss your rights and available options.