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Happy Family


Providing Information and Advocacy in Paternity Cases

When a baby is born to married parents, the husband is automatically assumed to be the father and his name is added to the birth certificate. However, if the parents are unmarried, the process is more complicated. Paternity must be established before the man’s name can be added to the birth certificate. He also has no rights to the child until paternity has been determined.

If you have questions about the process of establishing paternity, turn to our experienced legal team. From our Forty Fort office, we represent men and women throughout Northern Pennsylvania in a wide variety of family law matters, including paternity. We can provide you with insight into the process and the benefits of confirmed paternity.

How Paternity Is Established

It is possible for the child’s mother and the suspected father to both agree to the paternity testing. A form is signed, called the voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity, in front of a witness and submitted. If both parties do not agree to the testing, the involuntary establishment of paternity must be sought through the courts.

Once the voluntary form has been signed or an order has been issued, a simple cheek swab can be performed on the child and the potential father. From there, DNA testing can be performed and the genetic results compared to each other.

Why Determine Paternity?

Definitively determining the paternity of a child has benefits for the mother, father and child:

  • The mother benefits, as a court order for child support can be created once the father is determined. He will then be obligated to pay, as both parents are responsible for the financial support of the child.

  • The father benefits, as a court order for child custody can be issued. This allows him access to his child and can begin or continue building the relationship between the two.

  • The child benefits both from the creation of child custody and child support matters. Also, knowing who their father is can assist in obtaining medical information and benefits to which they are entitled as the offspring.

Know Your Rights In Paternity Matters

Talk to us about the paternity challenges you are facing. We represent the rights of both mothers and fathers in paternity matters. Call us today at 570-820-9800 to schedule a free phone or virtual consultation. You can also send us a message through our online form below.

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