How is legal paternity established? How do I know if I have custody of my children

Published 11/28/2007 02:22 PM   |    Updated 02/16/2009 11:35 AM

How is legal paternity established? How do I know if I have custody of my children

If the mother is married when the child is born, her husband is considered by law to be the father.

 

If the mother has been divorced or widowed for less than 10 months, her husband at the time of conception is considered by law to be the father.

 

If the mother is married at the time of birth or was married at the time of conception, but in a dissolution of marriage action, her husband contends he is not the natural father of the child, the court will require a genetic test be conducted to determine if he is or is not the natural father of the child. If the mother is not married at the time of the birth of the child, and was not married at the time of conception, paternity can be established in these ways:

  1. HOSPITAL AFFIDAVITS: A Paternity affidavit provided by the State Department of Health may be completed within 72 hours (3 days) of the birth of the child. This must be signed by both the mother and the father. The paternity affidavit form, along with a verbal explanation of the legal effects of the document, will be provided to the mother and father by hospital staff at the same time that the birth certificate is completed.

2.      ADMINISTRATIVE AFFIDAVITS: Effective July 1, 1997, paternity can be established by completing the required paternity affidavit form at the local health department. This process is available until your child reaches 20 years of age. A properly executed paternity affidavit establishes legal paternity and parental rights and responsibilities. The affidavit may be set aside by filing a court action within 60 days of the signing of the affidavit without good cause. The affidavit may not be set aside after the 60 day period except for the good cause reasons provided by law and found to exist by a court.

 

3.      COURT DETERMINATION: Paternity may be established by filing a paternity action in court. The parties may agree to the paternity or request a genetic test and hearing.

 

For more information see the Child Support Bureau’s website: http://www.in.gov/dcs/2482.htm

 

Was this answer helpful?
 
Your rating has been submitted, please tell us how we can make this answer more useful.

Print