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Do You Need To Establish Paternity?

Paternity is the legal term for fatherhood. When a married couple has a baby, the law automatically presumes the husband is the father. When the parents are not married, there is a legal step required to confirm the status of the biological father.

Paternity confers certain rights to the child, as well as certain rights and responsibilities for both parents. The Indianapolis attorneys of Zentz Law can help you through this process.

  • We represent mothers who are establishing paternity for child support and help with raising the child.
  • We represent men who want their child to know their dad and who want to assert their rights to shared custody.
  • We have also helped men seeking to prove they are not the father.

Indiana Paternity Law

Paternity gives the child a legal father and the rights to inheritance, Social Security benefits, health insurance and other benefits through the father. The father gains the right to seek visitation, joint custody or even sole custody, along with the obligation to pay child support until age 18. A paternity action also allows the mother to get court-ordered child support, including arrears.

When a child is born out of wedlock, there are two ways to establish paternity. If both parents sign an affidavit of paternity, no further action is required. If either parent declines to sign the affidavit, a paternity action is filed and a hearing date is set. At that point, the reputed father can agree to paternity without a genetic test or request a DNA test to determine if the child is his.

Get Knowledgeable Legal Advice On Paternity

Our family law attorneys can advise of your rights, your obligations and the legal process. Should you sign a paternity affidavit without a DNA test? Are you ready to live up to your responsibilities? Are you prepared to be co-parents even if you are no longer together as a couple? What if the DNA test comes back negative?

To discuss these issues in a free consultation, call our Indianapolis office at 317-678-9463 or contact us online.