Paternity is legally determining the father of a child. Because every child deserves the financial and emotional support of both a mother and a father, establishing paternity is extremely important.
Why Establish Paternity?
Establishing paternity creates a legal relationship between a father and a child, and is particularly important for unmarried fathers because:
Benefits for the Child
A child gains personal benefits when paternity is established, including:
In North Dakota, a child support order cannot be established for a child who is born to unmarried parents until the alleged father is determined to be the father. This determination is made through an acknowledgment of paternity or by court order based on the results of genetic testing.
If the alleged father denies paternity, genetic testing of the mother, child, and alleged father may be conducted. Genetic tests are extremely accurate, and their results indicate a probability of paternity and can establish a legal presumption of paternity. They can exclude a man who is not the father and can also indicate the likelihood of paternity if not excluded. The North Dakota Child Support Division has a contract with LabCorp, a genetic testing laboratory, to conduct these genetic tests.
If you need guidance regarding paternity issues, contact an experienced family law attorneys at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys online or call 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 (toll-free) today.
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