Presumption of Parentage


Parentage can be established through the following means: 

  • If the parties are married at the time of the child's birth;
  • If the child is born within 300 days after a marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, divorce, or judgment of separation;
  • Before the child's birth there is an attempt to solemnize a marriage;
  • After the child's birth the parents marry or attempt to marry and
    • the presumed parent's name is on the birth certificate
    • there is an obligation to support the child either by a written promise or by court order
  • The presumed parent holds the child out as his or her natural child; or
  • The parent signs a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity.

What is a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity?

What if I want to rescind the Declaration of Paternity after I sign it?

Where can I sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity ?

A Voluntary Declaration of Paternity is a document signed at the hospital where both parents of a child born out of wedlock acknowledge that both persons are the parents of the baby. 
Once a Voluntary Declaration of paternity is signed, the parent has 60 days to rescind it. If the father of the child is not sure that he is the biological father, he should request a DNA test before signing the declaration.
If the parents of a baby are not married, a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity may be signed at a hospital. If the document is not signed at the hospital, it can also be signed at a local child support agency, family law facilitator's office, or register's office.   

If it is established that I am the parent of the minor child, will my name be placed on the birth certificate?

If it is determined that I am the father of the minor child, will I have to pay the mother child support?

How do I obtain custody and visitiaton if I was not married to the mother when the child was born?

The court can order that the father's name be placed on the child's birth certificate.  It is then up to the parents to change that record through the local vital records department. 
Yes. Support of a minor child is a part of being a parent.  Either the parent who has custody of the child or the Department of Child Support Services can request an order for child support.
Custody and visitation can only be established when a determination of parentage has been made.  Once a determination of parentage has been made by a court, the court can order visitation, custody, and child support.

Can I get an order for child support if paternity is not established?

I am not married and my former girlfirend is pregnant with our child. What do I do if she will not acknowledge that I am the father?

Can I file a paternity petition before the child is born?

A court will not order child support without first establising who the father of the child is. Once paternity is established, the court will order child support and order custody and visition for the father.
A father who anticipates that he will be excluded from the child's life, must take steps to insure that he parentage is established. The first thing he can do before a child is born is pay for medical bills. After the child is born he must do everything he can to try to see the baby, and he must file a paternity petition in court.   
A paternity case can be started before or after a child is born. However, in some circumstances it must be started before the child is two.