For a mother, establishing maternity is incredibly simple. Medical professionals witness her pregnancy and also the delivery process. Even if she gives birth outside of the hospital, a basic physical examination can verify if a woman has given birth in the past.
For fathers, establishing a biological relationship with a child can be up in more difficult. Most states apply a presumption of paternity when a married woman has a child. Her husband will be the father on the birth certificate unless there are unusual circumstances and the couple files special paperwork.
When a man did not marry the mother of his child before the birth, the situation is a bit more complex. Will you require her cooperation to establish paternity as an unmarried father?
The mother of your child can help establish paternity
The simplest and fastest way to put your name on a child’s birth certificate involves you and the mother filling out certain paperwork at the hospital. Unmarried fathers assisted by the mother of their child can fill out state paperwork immediately after a child’s birth to have their name added to the birth certificate at the time of its creation.
However, fathers can potentially add their names any time until their child turns 18. The fastest approach still involves the mother’s support and voluntary paperwork.
What if the mother won’t acknowledge you?
Some fathers find themselves in a difficult situation. Perhaps the mother of their child is in a different relationship, or maybe the relationship they had with the mother ended badly. Whatever the reason, she won’t communicate with him or acknowledge his eternity. If you find yourself in such a scenario, the family courts can help.
Judges can order the mother to present herself and the child for genetic testing. Modern paternity testing is both non-invasive and highly accurate. The possibility of a false positive is exceptionally low. If the testing confirms your belief that you are the biological father of your child, the courts will help you formally establish paternity. Then you can then initiate the necessary steps to establish shared custody arrangements.
Learning more about family law matters like establishing paternity can help those who want to be present for and involved with their children.