Gomez Law PLLC.

Businessman holding notebook with "establishing paternity" written on it. - Gomez Law PLLC.In this article, you can discover…

  • How paternity law is defined and why it matters.
  • What is involved in legally determining paternity.
  • How a lawyer can help you initiate a paternity action in Minnesota.

What Is Paternity And Why Is It Important?

Paternity is defined as establishing whether a man is the biological father of a child. This is done through genetic testing to verify a match between the adult man and the possible son or daughter.

When you are established to be the father of a child, you have certain rights to be in your child’s life. Sometimes, there are disputes between a couple about whether the man is, indeed, a child’s father. This can be especially true in divorce cases or when custody is being debated.

Determining paternity gives you legal rights, especially in the midst of disputes with your wife or partner, that you would not have if paternity were left unestablished.

What Is The Voluntary Recognition Of Parentage Form, And How Is It Used?

The recognition of parentage establishes your identity as the father and allows you to petition for the care and custody of your child.

If you sign voluntary recognition of parentage paperwork, it’s important to be absolutely sure that you are, indeed, the biological father. If you are uncertain that you truly are a child’s biological father, do not sign the form and don’t feel pressured into signing the form; get a DNA test first.

While this document can be signed at any time within the child’s first 18 years, the window to revoke that form after you’ve signed is quite narrow at only 60 days.

What Role Does DNA Testing Play In Establishing Paternity?

If you and your partner disagree about the paternity of a child, a DNA test can be requested. A DNA test can also be ordered by a court to establish paternity.

These tests are conclusive and helpful in a vast majority of cases. An exception to this clarity could arise if the man being tested is a close relative of yours. DNA may be quite similar in this case, making establishing paternity more difficult.

How Can I Initiate A Paternity Action In Minnesota?

If both you and your partner don’t agree that you are the father, a paternity action can be drafted by a court order. This can be requested through your attorney to a judge, who will then draft the requirement of a DNA test into the order.

This will make the DNA test a requirement for further court proceedings, determining everything from custody to visitation rights and child support.

How Long Does The Process Of Establishing Paternity Take In Minnesota?

If both you and your partner agree that a paternity test is in order, the process can take a short time. You can expect to have a DNA sample taken, wait for DNA test results, sign simple documents once the results are positive, and file them with the Office of Vital Records.

This process can become quite drawn out, however, if you and your partner disagree on custody and child care. While the initial DNA test usually takes no more than two weeks to come back, other disputes can prolong the legal process for up to a year or more.

What Happens After Paternity Is Established?

After paternity is legally established, you and your partner can begin to move forward with establishing custody and visitation rights. A court order is often needed to iron out and enforce these agreements, guaranteeing you, as the father, the right to care for, visit, or share your home with your child.

Whatever your wishes may be as a parent, a thorough and diligent family law attorney can help guide you through this process and ensure that your legal rights as a father are respected.

For more information on Establishing Paternity in Minnesota, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (763) 284-5552 today.

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