Legal paternity can only be established through a paternity agreement (time sharing schedule and parenting plans) signed by both parties, or by court action. Although having one’s name on a child’s birth certificate does not legally establish paternity, it can be used to prove the biological father of the child.

If an individual believes he is not the father of a child, he may contest a child support order by defending a paternity action. In this action, the mother, potential father, and child may need to submit to a DNA test for genetic testing to determine the father’s identity.

When a child is born during marriage, the husband is presumed to be the child’s father, even if the wife was known to be having an affair during the marriage. If another individual believes that he is the biological father of the child, he can bring a paternity action to become the legal father. If the judge decides that it is in the best interests of the child for the non-biological father who was married to the spouse when the child was born to remain the legal father, then that will be the outcome, unless reversed on appeal.

If you are a father and have never been married, please consult with an attorney immediately to file a paternity action. This is imperative to establish your legal rights to the child. If you do not file this petition, the Mother of the child/ children can move any place she wants and deny you time sharing without violating any law or statute. Your rights must be adjudicated legally in the paternity action to provide you with a legal right to time share with your children. Please understand this is a separate issue from paying child support and the Court examines the issues separately and under different legal statutes.


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.