If a child is born out of wedlock, the mother, alleged father, or Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”) may initiate a Paternity action. Either party can request a DNA test in the beginning of the action or the Court may order it. If the test concludes that there is a 99% or higher possibility of paternity, then paternity is established. Once paternity is established, child support, custody and parenting time must be determined.
A Paternity action will not be necessary if both parents signed an “Acknowledgment of Parentage” form. If the parties have acknowledged parentage, then they can seek a determination of child support, custody, and parenting time under the Child Custody Act.
Under the relatively new (2012) Revocation of Paternity Act, the Court may determine a child’s paternity and set aside previous acknowledgments, determinations and judgments related to paternity. There are specific time limits for doing so and different, detailed procedures depending on who is filing the action, i.e. child’s mother, alleged father (man who could have fathered the child), DHHS, or the presumed father (man who was married to mother at the time of conception or birth). It is important to sit down with an attorney to discuss this statute, as it can be quite complicated.
We welcome you to contact our office to schedule your confidential consultation.