Paternity Parenting Rights

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Paternity Establishment in Ohio

How do I establish paternity in Ohio?

A presumption of paternity is created if father is married to mother.  However, a man must establish paternity of his child if he is not married to mother at the time of the child’s birth.  To establish paternity means to establish legal fatherhood.  Establishing paternity does not mean that a father has any legal or custodial rights though.  You must petition the Court to establish your legal and physical custodial rights.   

How to Establish Paternity

  1. Both parents can  sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit to establish paternity. This is super easy and often completed at the hospital at the child’s birth. If this is not completed at the hospital the parents, afterwards, can complete the affidavit at the local registrar/health department or county child support enforcement agency. 
  2. The parents can choose to do Genetic Testing  to establish paternity. Sometimes a man is unsure whether he is a child’s father, so this is the best option.   The alleged father(s), mother, or guardian may request genetic testing. The parties can do this privately or through the Child Support Enforcement Agency.  If one party refuses to participate in testing, a petition must be filed seeking paternity and ordering the  nonparticipating party to comply with testing.  A father’s test must result in a 99% probability of fatherhood to establish paternity,

What If I established Paternity and later find out it was a mistake?

What happens if you established paternity by affidavit or by presumption because you are married to mother, and later learn you are not the father?  This actually happens at times for various reasons and can bring about very strong emotions.  Depending on the circumstances, these situations proceed in numerous ways, however genetic testing is often the starting point. 


If you would like to discuss your situation, I am here to listen. Please contact my office today to schedule a consultation.


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