ESTABLISHING PARENTAGE / PATERNITY
A paternity action allows a person to secure child support, custody, and visitation rights for a child born to unwed persons or persons in a same sex relationship. A paternity action establishes the parentage of a child (determining who are the legal parents of a child). Generally, the parties can agree to parentage of a child. However, if the parties cannot agree on parentage, the Court can order DNA genetic testing to determine who is the biological parent of the child in question. Once parentage is established, the court can make orders regarding that child as to custody and visitation rights and hold a parent responsible for paying child support. Although paternity appears relatively straight forward, the paternity laws are constantly evolving and even a non-biological parent or a same sex parent may be determined to be the legal parent of a child and have parental rights and responsibilities. At Dockstader Orliczky, we have represented clients on both sides of the parentage issue and are knowledgeable about all of the ramifications such parentage determinations may involve.