Understanding The Basics Of A Paternity Action

A paternity action is a legal filing in the New Jersey Superior Court that seeks to determine a child’s biological parents. DNA testing from a blood test is the typical means by which paternity is legally established. Paternity is the legal prerequisite for determining issues such as child support obligations, child custody and visitation.

As in divorce, there are strategies for minimizing the court’s involvement, especially when both parents agree. The simplest approach is a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, where each parent signs a notarized Certificate of Parentage.

A variety of concerned individuals may bring a paternity action. First and foremost, a child may file a paternity action at any time. In addition to the child’s mother or the man who believes that he is the father, a county welfare agency or legal guardian of the child may also file a paternity case. However, only the child may file suit at any time; other parties must file before the child reaches 23 years of age.

Contact A Skilled Paternity Law Attorney

In the over 15 years we have been practicing family law, the American family demographic has become increasingly diverse. It is no longer uncommon for a child to be raised by unmarried parents, single parents, grandparents, same-sex couples and other loving caregivers. In each of these households, it may be useful to establish legal paternity. Doing so will protect you and your child’s rights.

We also have the experience to help you with a broad range of family law issues involving children. Contact us online to schedule a consultation at our Mount Laurel office or call 856-234-2855.