How Does Establishing Paternity Work?

A father can voluntarily acknowledge paternity by signing a written admission of paternity. All states have a program which birthing hospitals give unmarried parents of a newborn the opportunity to acknowledge the father`s paternity. Under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 PRWORA), an acknowledgement of paternity becomes a finding of paternity, unless the man who signed the acknowledgement denies that he is the father within 60 days. Paternity determination is a necessary step in establishing a support order.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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