stacks_image_15Establishing Paternity

The first issue that must be addressed is the child’s age and whether or not the Father is listed on the birth certificate. If the Father is not listed or is listed but later contests paternity, a generic marker test may need to be conducted. The generic marker test, more commonly known as a DNA test, will prove whether the potential father is the father of the child in question.

Video: Paternity and Fathers

Court Ordered Parentage

Once the Father is adjudicated to be the Father by either agreeing to such in court, accepting and acknowledging paternity and listing his name on the birth certificate or through the results of the genetic marker test, the Court will then establish who has custody (legal and/or physical custody), a parenting schedule and a child support obligation.

Once the Judge issues a final judgment in the first paternity action, the Father’s name will be placed on the child’s birth certificate.

Support of a Child

Unlike a divorce, in paternity cases, the custodial parent may seek (and possibly) obtain child support from the date of birth to the current date of the pending action.


As in divorce cases, all issues about the children, such as child support, a parenting schedule, health insurance, and custody, can all be modified at a later point in time. The standard for such a modification must be a showing of a substantial and material change in circumstances. Child support can be reviewed every three years without the need to prove a change in circumstances.

This information is intended only to be an introductory guideline because each case is unique and presents different issues. If you have questions, please feel free to contact our office.

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