What is “paternity establishment in Ohio?”
Paternity establishment is a legal determination of fatherhood.
Paternity establishment is important for many reasons. For children born outside of marriage, paternity establishment is the first step prior to the establishment of child support or medical support order.
Paternity establishment has many benefits for the child and the father. Such as access to medical histories and the child’s ability to qualify for benefits such as social security or veteran benefits that the father may be awarded.
In addition, it is also the right of both the child and the father to have a parental relationship established. Most of my phone calls relate to custody matters when a child is born outside of the marriage.
Remember, the father is only presumed to be the father of the child unless one of the following occurs:
- The parties have signed a paternity acknowledgement affidavit and it has become a final or administrative or judicial order. Only at that time is the man then to be determined the father of the child.
- If not presumption of paternity exist, or if only a presumption exist, the CSEA can assist in establishing paternity. This could happen when a married mother has conceived a child with someone other than her spouse. And voluntary acknowledgment is when parents acknowledge paternity by completing a notarized form or affidavit, at the hospital, local register’s office, or the CSEA. The CSEA works with local hospitals to facility the completion of the acknowledgment at the hospital when the child is born.
- Signing this form, known as the acknowledgment of paternity affidavit is completely voluntary. If there is any uncertainty about paternity, genetic testing should be requested prior to signing the affidavit. The affidavit cannot be used in an acknowledgment of paternity if another man is legally presumed to be the father due to marriage or if there is already an acknowledgment on file.
The bottom line is, establishing paternity is complicated. If you have a question pick up the phone and call us at 740-369-7567 for answers.