Resolving Paternity Issues

Given the high number of unmarried parents in today's society, paternity is a major concern in Pennsylvania and across the country. Questions of paternity can arise in many situations, including custody and support proceedings. In the support context, the issue of paternity often arises when a mother seeks child support for a child not born during marriage from a man she alleges to be the biological father. In the custody context, the issue of paternity often arises when a man believes he is the father of a child not born during a marriage and wishes to establish custodial rights.

At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, our attorneys can help you respond to any situation you encounter regarding paternity issues. We serve clients in Montgomery County and Bucks County and throughout the Greater Philadelphia area.

What Is The Legal Status Of Your Relationship To Your Child?

First, it is important to note there is a presumption in Pennsylvania that a child conceived or born during a marriage is the child of the mother's husband. This presumption, however, can be overcome if you are able to present convincing proof that the husband lacked access to the mother at the time of conception, the husband was unable to have children or the mother was unable to have children. These situations are very specific to your particular circumstances, and we can help you navigate the process in these situations.

Second, the child may have been born to unmarried parents. In these situations, you must initially determine whether both the father of a child born to an unmarried woman and the mother voluntarily signed and filed an acknowledgement of paternity form with the Department of Public Welfare. Such a voluntary and fully executed form is considered conclusive proof of paternity.

If a father does not sign an acknowledgment of paternity, however, then it may be necessary to file a petition with the court to obtain DNA testing to establish paternity.

Establishing paternity greatly impacts many lives – mother, father, child, grandparents, siblings. Once paternity is established, either voluntarily or after DNA testing, the child has an entitlement to financial support from both the mother and father, potential inheritance rights from the father, and the father then has the ability to assert his custodial rights.

Our Role In Guiding You Forward

No matter what your specific situation is, we can guide you through the process of pursuing the paternity arrangement you seek. Call 215-822-7575 or 800-358-9367 or complete our online form.