Paternity is the legal process by which the father of a child is established. Generally, paternity actions relate to children born out of wedlock. Children born to a married woman are considered to be marital, thus the husband’s paternity is immediately established. However, in certain circumstances, the paternity of a marital child may be challenged.
If a child is born out of wedlock, there are several ways in which paternity can be established:
• If the parties marry after the child’s birth;
• If, at the time of birth, the father signs a statement acknowledging paternity and that statement is filed with the state registrar; or
• If a motion to establish paternity is filed. Such a motion can be filed by the child, the child’s natural mother, the male presumed to be the child’s father, the personal representative of any of the preceding individuals if that person has died, the custodian of the child, and the state in certain circumstances.
Once paternity has been established, the court will enter a judgment of paternity, and may make orders concerning custody, placement, and child support.
If you are considering whether to bring a paternity action or if you are involved in a paternity suit, you need skilled legal services tailored to your needs. Tlusty & Kennedy, S.C.’s years of experience in family law make them uniquely competent to advise you regarding your rights and to negotiate a fair settlement of your obligations. Contact us now for a free consultation. We’re here to help you.