Establishing paternity is a necessary prerequisite to establishing a legal responsibility for a child. While in most cases paternity is voluntarily acknowledged at the time of birth, if there is a question or denial of paternity, it can be established through court process.

To establish paternity and secure your child’s rights to support, you may file a petition, under oath sworn before a notary public, that you are the child’s parent and request that the court order the child’s alleged father to submit to genetic testing to determine whether or not he is the child’s father. This petition can be filed with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of the county in which you reside.

Your motion must be accompanied by a sworn statement that alleges paternity and sets forth the facts establishing a reasonable possibility that you and the child’s father had sexual relations around the time that the child was conceived.

If you have been ordered to pay child support for a child who you now question is your natural child, you can file a petition for relief from paying child support with the Circuit Court in which the divorce was finalized. The court may order you and the child to submit to a scientifically reliable genetic test to be performed. If it is determined that you are not the father of the child, the court may set aside your obligation to pay child support as of the date on which your former spouse was served on your spouse.

Our attorneys can evaluate your specific circumstances and guide you through the process of establishing paternity through genetic testing or other evidence.

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