Paternity FAQ

At Integrity Law, we’re dedicated to answering all your questions and concerns— including addressing common misconceptions. Here’s six answers that may clear up your concerns.

 

  1. If the father’s name is on the birth certificate, is he deemed the child’s father for all legal purposes and entitled to parenting time and child support responsibilities? 

    No, there is a presumption of paternity when placing a father’s name on the birth certificate.  Up and until a court enters an order or final judgment concerning timesharing (i.e. visitation), the Mother has superior rights to the child.  Either party may initiate an action for paternity in order to determine their timesharing rights.  The department of revenue often will place one party on child support in the event the other parent is receive state assistance.  Just because a party is required to pay child support through the state does not mean they have timesharing rights.  This can only be accomplished through an action for paternity as stated.

  2. If you do not pay child support, you do not get to see your child? 

    If you have a court order or final judgment outlining timesharing, then the other party cannot unilaterally withhold timesharing from a non-paying parent.  Child support and timesharing are apples and oranges.

  3. Is a DNA test always required to establish paternity?

    Not unless a party is objecting to the establishment of paternity at which time, a party may ask for DNA testing to be performed.

  4. What are the benefits of establishing paternity? 

    Perhaps the #1 benefit would be a parenting plan outlining rights of timesharing (i.e. visitation) for both parties throughout the year (including week nights, weekends, holidays and summer.)

  5. How can a father claim a legal relationship to child if the mother and father were not married at the time of child’s birth? 

    He should file an action for paternity which, as discussed, would result in an order or judgment outlining timesharing, etc.

  6. What rights does a Acknowledgement of Paternity actually grant? 

    Nothing.  It merely places the Father’s name on the birth certificate and establishes a presumption he is the Father.  He may rescind his acknowledgment within 60 days.  The only way to grant anything would be an action for paternity.

If you have more questions regarding your specific paternity circumstance, we’d love to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys to help in any way we can. Please contact us here.