A child born to parents that are unwed doesn’t automatically have
a legal father.
To legally establish paternity, the biological father must acknowledge
his child either in writing or through an affidavit of parentage.
Acknowledgment of Paternity
Because there is a distinction between the biological father and the legal
father of a child, the biological father must acknowledge his paternity
of a child or children. In most cases, the father will do this voluntarily
and with no disagreements. The father and mother will both sign the Voluntary
Acknowledgement of Paternity.
The Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity gives the father the right to:
- visit and develop a relationship with the child;
- participate in raising the child;
- provide support for the child’s needs; and
- make important decisions regarding the child’s personal growth and
The Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity is final and legally binding
60 days after it is signed. Neither party can revoke or refuse to uphold
the responsibilities of acknowledgment.
Administrative Orders and Genetic Testing
Things can become complicated if the biological father wasn’t married
to the mother during the birth and refuses to take responsibility for
the child. If this happens, the first thing the mother should do is consult
an attorney with experience in
After an attorney is hired, the mother needs to petition a court to:
- open a paternity case against the alleged father; and
- issue a request for the alleged father to participate in a DNA test.
The alleged father must comply with the request or he could face a court
issued default judgment. This means that a judge can decide a person is
the biological father without a paternity test. This can cause problems
for an alleged father if he isn’t the true biological father because
he will be responsible for the child until they turn 18.
Contact R. Gregory Colvin, LLC Today
If you are in the midst of a paternity dispute, contact our attorneys.
We have over 25 years of experience and can help you win the results you seek.
Call our firm at (407) 603-3460 or contact us online for a case evaluation.