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Establishing Paternity For Unmarried Parents

Marriage is far less common than it used to be. Many couples now build lives together without ever tying the knot. In most respects, this works just fine. But when individuals who are not married have a child together, things can become significantly more complex. Therefore, it is often necessary to formally establish paternity of the child.

What The Law Says

In Minnesota, a man who is not married to his child’s mother when the child is born has no automatic parental rights — even if his name is on the birth certificate. He or someone else must take steps to establish paternity before he is officially granted parental rights and/or financial responsibilities.

A mother who wants to receive child support will have to establish child support. Unless the couple was married during the pregnancy and birth of the child, a father must establish paternity in order to get parenting time with his children. Additionally , a father may want to include his child or children in his will and get them the health care and insurance benefits they both need and deserve.

How The Process Works

An action to determine the parent-child relationship may be brought by the birth mother, prospective father or personal representative of the child. The paternity action may be brought in the county in which the mother, father or child lives.

A county’s child support enforcement agency may also bring a paternity action if the mother or child is receiving assistance. The court may order DNA testing to determine the parent-child relationship.

The results of a paternity action may help determine a father’s parental rights and responsibilities with respect to matters such as the payment of birth expenses, determination of child custody, obligation of child support and establishment of parenting time.

If you need help establishing paternity and asserting your parental rights, work with an experienced lawyer at our firm.

Discuss Your Legal Needs In A Free Consultation

Paternity issues may have a substantial effect on both your future and the future of the children involved. Attorneys at Oney + Kim Family Law, PLLC, will help guide you through the legal process and work to protect your rights and interests.

Our firm is based in Eagan and serves clients throughout Dakota, Hennepin and Scott counties. To take advantage of a free initial consultation, call us at 612-279-8655 or send us an email.

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