If you are wondering how to establish paternity of your child, chances are, you have read up on some of the variety of ways and may have become confused on the right path to take. There are a number of valid ways you can go about this and there are good reasons on why you should. Seeking paternal rights is a personal decision. This article focuses on an overview of the process.
If you are the legal father of a child, establishing paternity can be rather simple. If you sign the birth certificate as the father, paternity is established. If you execute an acknowledgement of paternity to file with the clerk of the town where the child was born at some point after birth, paternity is established. If you file a court action to establish paternity, and the court later deems you the father, paternity is established.
This, of course, is an important legal step in the process, for once you establish the rights of paternity, you may then seek custody, visitation and support of the child.
In Massachusetts: M.G. L. c. 209C, s.2 governs how to establish paternity. You can do so in one of two ways:
1. By filing with the clerk of the town where the birth of the child occurred, an acknowledgment of parentage (birth certificate or designated form); or
2. By the filing of a Complaint for Paternity and the subsequent Judgment of Paternity granted by the Court.
In New Hampshire: RSA 168-A governs how to establish paternity. You can do so in one of two ways:
1. By filing with the clerk of the town where the birth of the child occurred, an Affidavit of Paternity; or
2. By petition to the superior court by the mother, putative father, child, or public authority chargeable by law with the support of the child and the subsequent granting of the Petition by the Court.
If you are unsure of this process, it’s always best to seek the help of a professional that knows the process and can ensure a smooth, easy process.