Initiating A Paternity Action
At Hoff, Claringbole & Quigley, LLP, our attorneys represent both mothers and fathers in paternity actions.
Paternity actions begin with the establishment of paternity and a paternity action can be brought by either the father or the mother of the minor child. They can also be initiated by the child support agency. A paternity action may be addressed when the child is born or when an unmarried couple separate and need to determine each parent’s rights and obligations.
As part of the legal action, a signed and voluntary acknowledgment of paternity on file with the state can be considered a conclusive determination of paternity. Where no such statement is on file, genetic tests may be ordered.
As part of a paternity action, the court may enter orders for custody and placement of the child, child support, payment of birth expenses, responsibility for health insurance and allocation of the tax exemption for the child. Until such time as paternity is established and orders are entered, it is presumed that custody and placement of the child is with the mother. A legal determination of paternity is important to protect the rights of both mothers and fathers.