Paternity in Anoka County
Establishing Fatherhood in a Paternity Case
Paternity is a term that refers to the legal father of a child under Minnesota law. Once a man has been established as a child's legal father, he has the obligation to provide financial support and he also has the right to ask the court to order child custody or parenting time.
While every child has a biological father, not every child has a "legal father." Under Minnesota law, if a child's mother and father are not married to each other when their child is born, the father is not recognized as the child's legal father until legal steps have been taken to recognize his paternity. A biological father has no legal rights or responsibilities to support his child, even if his name is on the birth certificate. In the absence of marriage, the birth certificate is not enough to establish a child's legal father under Minnesota law; therefore, paternity actions are very common, especially when unmarried couples split up.
Recognition of Parentage Process
These days it is not uncommon for couples to choose not to marry, but still fathers will need to be recognized as the legal father of their biological children. If a man was not married to his child's mother when the child was born, he can become the child's legal father through the "Recognition of Parentage" (ROP) or through a court order.
- Unmarried parents can sign a Recognition of Parentage form stating that they are both the biological parents; they can file this form with the MN Dept. of Health, or;
- If the parents disagree on who the biological father is, or if unmarried parents want to obtain a court order for child support, child custody or parenting time, a mother or father can ask the court to order genetic tests.
While some unwed parents can cooperate with one another in raising their child without a court order for custody, support or parenting time, some parents may want to take legal action when problems arise with schooling, the need for financial support, the need for adequate parenting time with the child, or when one parent has serious concerns over the other parent's ability to care for the child.
Contact a Anoka County Divorce Lawyer
When going to court in a paternity case, we strongly encourage that you obtain legal advice from an Anoka County divorce attorney from Brevik Law, especially if you and the other parent do not agree on paternity and child custody or
Contact our office today to schedule a free initial consultation by calling (763) 200-6594.