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Paternity Agreement

  • Paternity can be established when both a father and mother sign a Paternity Acknowledgment form after the birth of their child, establishing complete legal paternity. Both parents are then listed on the birth certificate and this allows a court to order child support. All hospitals have Paternity Acknowledgment forms. These forms are also available from local county child support agencies and state Vital Records Offices.

  • Father and mother can legally stipulate in agreements, the establishment of paternity and making child support payments as well as decisions regarding child custody and visitation rights. The courts must approve this agreement for it to be binding and enforceable. Child support agencies may be able to explain how to accomplish the above without going to court. It is also possible to have genetic tests done before signing such an agreement.

  • If a man is named the father but denies that claim, a court hearing will be scheduled. The named father will be notified they must appear at this hearing. The named father may request genetic tests to determine claims of paternity.

  • The unmarried mother can request the named father to sign a legitimation form, available at child support agencies as well as state Vital Records Offices. "Legitimation" gives mother and child the same rights as if the marriage had taken place before childbirth. This form should be signed by both parents, notarized and sent to the state Vital Records Office.

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