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Establishing Paternity in Indiana

Paternity is the process of formally establishing the identity of a child’s father. Sometimes, a mother might want to establish paternity to secure child support for her children. In other cases, a father may want to establish paternity to gain parental rights over the child. In still other cases, a father may want to disestablish paternity if it would leave him on the hook for paying child support. Paternity cases are often complex and involve a number of legal requirements in Indiana. In this article, the Danville, IN paternity lawyer, Chris Arrington, will discuss the legal process of establishing paternity in Indiana. 

Establishing paternity in Indiana

Paternity can be established in many ways. These include:

  • When the father and mother are married at the time of the child’s birth
  • The father was married to the mother within 300 days of the child’s birth
  • An unwed mother and father sign and submit a paternity affidavit
  • A court determines paternity with (or without) a DNA test

If the mother and father of a child are married at the time of a child’s birth and their names are each placed on the birth certificate, they are automatically considered the legal parents of the child under Indiana law. This means that they incur both the rights and responsibilities of parents to the child. 

For children who are born out of wedlock or in cases in which there is a dispute over paternity, determining parental rights becomes more complicated and requires specific legal action. This is primarily when an Indiana paternity attorney can be the most helpful. If you are a prospective father who is attempting to establish paternity or a mother who wants support from a prospective father, Chris Arrington can help you establish legal rights and responsibilities over the child. 

Paternity Affidavits in Indiana

Either the mother or father of a child born out of wedlock can file an Indiana paternity affidavit at the child’s time of birth. The father will be listed as the father on the child’s birth certificate. While the mother does not have the right to rescind a paternity affidavit, the father can request the annulment of the affidavit within 60 days after initially signing. The court may require DNA testing to verify the claim. 

After 60 days have elapsed, the father will be considered the legal father of the child unless he can prove fraud, duress, or mistake of fact.

Establishing Paternity By Court Order

When the mother alleges that a specific man is the father of her child and the putative father does not agree, the mother may file an action in court to determine paternity. A mother can likewise file this claim if she wants to disestablish a certain individual from becoming the legal father of her child. A child may also file an action for paternal determination on their own behalf. In some cases, if a mother applies for public assistance, the State of Indiana will file a paternity action on her behalf

Talk to a Danville, IN Paternity Lawyer Today

Chris Arrington represents the rights of both mothers and fathers who are seeking to establish paternity. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin discussing your case right away. 

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