The Importance Of Establishing Paternity
When a child is born to a married woman, the husband is presumed to be the child’s father. When an unmarried woman gives birth, however, the picture is not always so clear.
A paternity action is the legal process for determining the identity of a child’s father. Establishing paternity opens the door for a number of issues to be resolved:
- A mother can seek child support from the biological father
- A father can assert parental rights, including child custody and visitation
- A child can enjoy certain benefits from his or her father, including health insurance, life insurance and veterans benefits
- Risk factors of genetic disease can be brought to light
If you are facing a paternity-related issue in North Carolina, the attorneys at Ellis Family Law, PLLC, are here to protect your rights and guide you through the process. We have significant experience handling paternity actions and other family law matters for clients in Durham, Chatham, Orange, Wake, Granville, Alamance and Person counties.
Pathways To Paternity
In North Carolina, there are three ways of establishing paternity:
- Through marriage: When a child is born within a marriage, or the parents get married after the child is born, the putative husband is legally presumed to be the father.
- By signing an affidavit of parentage: If the mother and putative father both sign an affidavit of parentage, the putative father will assume the rights and responsibilities of fatherhood.
- Affirming parenthood in court: If the putative father denies that he is the biological father and does not sign an affidavit of parentage, the matter can be resolved in court. This often involves the court ordering the putative father to submit to a DNA test.
Regardless of your situation, our lawyers are here to provide you with experienced guidance throughout the paternity process.