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What is paternity?

Establishing paternity is the process of establishing a person as a child's father in the eyes of the law. The Father will then begin to establish his child support and rights to visitation.  

How is paternity established?

Life can throw you curve balls, if you ever find yourself in the situation of needing to establish (or disestablish) paternity, Ms. Becker can help guide you through the court process.  Starting off, there are two ways to establish paternity.  The first is to sign the birth certificate or voluntarily acknowledge paternity as the father.  The second way to establish paternity is to file a petition in court.  Married couples have a presumption of parentage where the child is considered to be the Husband's automatically.

Sometimes you need to disestablish paternity.  In many situations, this can prove to be very difficult.  However, it can usually be done where there is fraud or mutual mistake involved. Further, the longer you wait, the less likely you will be able to change the paternity.  Also, the more ties to the child you have, the more likely you will not be able to disestablish paternity – even if you are not the child’s father.  Further, once you have disestablished paternity, you will no longer be able to exercise visitation with the child and these consequences can have a devastating effect on a child.

Can paternity be disestablished?

Usually most paternity disputes wind up in Juvenile Court because that is where you go when you are not married. Juvenile Court will require that when a parent is establishing paternity or setting up child support that the father takes a DNA test. This to avoid any future problems with father's requesting to bastardize their children years down the road.