When an unmarried parent requests a custody order or child support, he or she must prove parentage. Paternity may also be an issue between married spouses when one or both spouse is uncertain about the child’s parentage. In these situations, parentage may be established through a declaration of paternity signed by both parents (often at the hospital where the child was delivered) or a parentage action in family court.
In a parentage case, the court may apply one of several presumptions under the law. Paternity will be presumed when the putative father was married to the child’s mother at the time of conception or birth; when he married the mother after the birth and agreed to have his name on the birth certificate or to support the child; or he openly acted as if the child was his own.
Parentage cases need to be handled quickly and efficiently, so that the client obtains an early resolution of the paternity issue and can move forward toward obtaining custody and child support orders. Our attorneys recognize the need for expedited handling of these cases and have the experience to obtain prompt and efficient court rulings on parentage.
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