Parentage & Paternity
In a parentage case, if either party is contesting paternity, a DNA test will need to be done to establish paternity. In relationships that existed during and after the pregnancy, the father was usually at the hospital when the child was born and signed a “voluntary acknowledgement of paternity.” Signing the acknowledgment waives the right to a DNA test and establishes conclusively that he is the father. As always, there are exceptions, but a signed voluntary acknowledgement of paternity is difficult to undo. Once paternity is established, custody becomes the issue if the father is seeking residential custody. Either parent can file a paternity action.