Why Paternity is Important
When a child is born to an unmarried mother in Ohio, the mother remains the child’s sole legal guardian until paternity is formally established. Without a legal father, the child cannot access any of the father’s benefits, such as Social Security or veterans’ benefits. The child may also remain unaware of the father’s medical history, including any genetic issues the child may inherit. In addition to these material benefits, paternity allows a child to feel more connected to the father, encouraging a deeper sense of belonging and self-worth.
How to Establish Paternity in Ohio
In Ohio, there are two ways of establishing paternity: singing an Acknowledgement of Paternity affidavit or pursuing a paternity lawsuit. The affidavit allows both parents to sign their names to acknowledge that the man is in fact the child’s parent and legal father. Once this affidavit is signed and submitted, the father’s name can be added to the child’s birth certificate. However, if there is a paternity dispute, either parent can bring a lawsuit to court, where the judge will determine (usually through mandated genetic testing) whether the man is indeed the child’s father. Once paternity is determined, the father may be held liable for any child support payments requested by the mother.
Trusted Assistance When You Need It
At Garretson & Holcomb, LLC, we understand how difficult family dynamics can be. Whatever your situation looks like, we will work with you to understand your wishes and concerns and how we can assist you in achieving your goals. To learn more about how we can help you successfully resolve your paternity matter, reach out to our dedicated legal team today.