Establishing paternity serves the purpose of determining who is the father or who is not the father. It can provide a family the answers that they need. There are many reasons an individual may choose to establish paternity and this can include:
- A personal interests
- Seeking custody or visitation rights
- Seeking support
- Learning more about the child's background
- Learning more about their medical history
- A child may have a right to an inheritance
Paternity can be valuable in family law cases when it is unclear who the biological father. In order to establish paternity, it can be done voluntarily or involuntarily. The father can acknowledge it when the child is born or at the Office of Child Support Services.
When a father is not willing to voluntarily establish paternity, the mother has the options of having a Complaint for Paternity filed through the Office of Child Support Services. The mother will need to sign the verified complaint, as well as the affidavit. The father will then have the option of admitting paternity or requesting that testing be done. In the event that the father does not respond, the court will determine that he is the father based on default.
If a father or a mother is not acknowledging paternity then a DNA or genetic test may be performed. This is a simple test that can be done through taking a swab of the inside of the cheek of those being evaluated.
With a large portion of children in Rhode Island born with no father's name on their birth certificate, establishing paternity is a widespread issue for many. If you are looking to establish paternity for your family law case, get in touch with our Rhode Island divorce lawyer.