What They Mean, Challenges and Solutions
Paternity establishment is a process by which a father can legally establish that he is the father of a child. This can be done in one of two ways: voluntarily or involuntarily. Voluntary paternity establishments happen when both parents agree to it and sign an affidavit. Involuntary ones happen through court orders, typically after there has been some type of dispute over the matter. In this article, we will discuss what paternity establishments are and how they work, as well as common problems associated with them and potential solutions for those problems.
Involuntary Establishments: Involuntary establishments usually occur by way of court order following a disputed claim over who the father might be. This process can take months if not years because it often require a lot of legal action.
For example, a man may claim to be the father of a child and file for an order alleging that he is the biological father. The court would then take time to investigate this before coming up with their decision on whether or not they believe him. If it seems unlikely that there are any other potential fathers in question, this process can be much quicker than if there were multiple possible candidates involved.
If the established party refuses to cooperate with DNA testing after being ordered by the court, some states have provisions which allow them to go ahead without his consent so long as “a preponderance of evidence” shows he might actually be responsible for taking care of the child financially (such as paying support). Frequently these types of orders will contain some topics that are to be addressed in the future, such as drug and alcohol testing.
A court order is typically needed for paternity establishment to occur even if all parties agree that they are certain he’s the biological father of a child. For example, it would be required if both parents were not married at the time of conception or birth.