Paternity can be established in the following ways. The first is through the voluntary acknowledgment process where a form known as an Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit is completed. It can be filled out at the hospital when your child is born, before both parents leave the hospital. It can also be competed at the CSEA or your local Vital Statistics Registrar (usually associated with your local health department). If a case is contested or if there is some doubt as to the fatherhood of the child, either parent may request that the CSEA conduct genetic testing to determine the father of the child. The CSEA will then order all parties to submit to genetic testing and will issue an administrative paternity order based on the outcome of the genetic test. For a paternity order to be established, the test must show at least a 99% probability of fatherhood. If either party fails to submit to the test or fails to submit the child for genetic testing, the CSEA may request the court to find the party in contempt and determine the issue of paternity.
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Even the most common family law issue can be intensely stressful. A knowledgeable family lawyer can guide you through the process. An attorney will coach you on how to proceed and give expert guidance on hearings, trials and enforcing court orders. Take the first step now and talk to an experienced local family attorney.