Establishing Paternity Can Change A Life
When the parents of a child are not married, either party may need to legally establish paternity to give the father both the rights and responsibilities of fatherhood. The mother or the father can take this legal step, or they may choose to take it together. If they agree on who the father is, the process becomes relatively simple. If they disagree, however, they will have to involve the court.
At Schepisi & McLaughlin, P.A., we represent both mothers and fathers of children born outside of marriage. Our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience, and our head family law attorney, Silvana D. Raso, alone has over 25 years of experience. Your paternity matter is in good hands with us, and we will treat you the way we would treat our own family.
The Process Needed To Establish Paternity
Paternity cases often come up when there is a breakup of an unmarried relationship. In New Jersey, family law courts usually establish paternity through a DNA test. The test is a simple saliva swab. You will not need a test if both parents agree who the father is. Instead, you can both sign a certificate of parentage, which the father can even sign right after the child’s birth at the hospital.
Once the DNA test confirms paternity, either party may move forward to secure the legal rights and responsibilities. If the mother cuts off all contact with the father, the father must establish paternity to secure the parental rights to custody or visitation. On the other hand, the mother may seek paternity in order to secure financial support through a child support order. Once the court establishes paternity, the father can seek parenting time and the mother can seek support.
Establishing paternity ultimately benefits the child physically, financially and emotionally. Our attorneys will help pursue paternity so that you can provide the best future possible for your child.