Paternity is the establishment of who a child’s father is usually when the parties are not married. There are several ways to establish Paternity, often when the issue is contested, DNA test are used to identify who the biological father of a child is.
There are several reasons to commence a paternity action. A mother maybe looking to establish the paternity of her child in order to seek child support from the father. The Father maybe seeking to establish the paternity, so that the Father may establish his parental rights. Additional reasons to commence a paternity action, including establishing the Father’s right to be consulted before adoption, establishing the right to certain governmental benefits for the child and to establish inheritance rights.
Once paternity has been established by the court, the court will establish the parties’ parental rights, which include the development of a parenting plan, which contains the parties timesharing and parental decision rights and the parties child support obligations.