Minnesota Paternity Law Firm
Are you a father who had a child outside of a marriage, and want to know your rights to custody and parenting time and confirmation that you are the actual father to the child? Are you a mother who had a child outside of marriage, and similarly want to know your rights to custody, parenting time and also child support? Contact our law firm to learn your rights and the best approach for proceeding forward.
Recognition of Parentage
When a child is born outside of a marriage, the parents have an option to sign a “recognition of parentage,” which is usually completed at the hospital. This should not be confused with the birth certificate, which is completely separate. The recognition of parentage creates a presumption that someone is in fact the father to the new born child. When a recognition of parentage is signed by the mother and father (or likely father), then neither of the individuals would need to first establish paternity before moving forward with requesting custody or child support through the courts. However, if no recognition of parentage is signed, then a paternity action would need to be commenced to adjudicate someone as the child’s father before custody, parenting time or child support can be established. Paternity is usually established through DNA testing. If the DNA testing results show that someone is the father by a likelihood of 99% or greater, then that father is presumed to be the biological father.
Establishing Paternity and Custodial Rights When Parents Remain in a Relationship
When a child is born outside of a marriage, Minnesota law states that the mother has custody until a court order states otherwise. So, if two individuals are in a relationship, but not married and have a child or children, even though they may be in a happy and healthy relationship, Minnesota law states that the mother has custody of the child or children. Therefore, it is not uncommon for couples in that situation to establish paternity for the father and file a stipulation and order with the court establishing custodial rights for the father.