Establishing or Denying Paternity Washington

a little girl hugs her father

Some mothers may seek paternity action against the alleged father of a child. These paternity actions are primarily used to establish the parentage of the father, often to determine custody, child support and other parental responsibilities.

When faced with a dispute, you may choose to either establish or deny paternity, so that you have better control of the situation and fight for your rights. Feldman & Lee, a Lynnwood paternity lawyer, suggest that you seek to establish paternity through an affidavit, or dispute it using a paternity test.

Affidavit of Parentage

The primary purpose of an affidavit of parentage is to establish paternity early on. The affidavit is needed in court to declare that you are the child of the father. In some cases, the court may ask that you submit a DNA test too so that they have physical proof that you are the child’s father.

A DNA test can also be used as an advantage in court when you are seeking parental time or fighting for child custody.

Denying Parentage

Alleged fathers may also deny parentage if they suspect that a child is not theirs. Usually, you will have to submit a DNA sample to prove that the child or children are not biologically yours.

Denying paternity can help prevent having to pay child support for someone who is not related to you. In cases where you mistakenly care for a child that is not yours, you may even qualify for a compensation claim.

When taking a DNA test for either proving or denying paternity, the ones taking the test are the only ones who can consent to it. The Family Court cannot force anyone to take a DNA test, though they may assume that a person is the father if they refuse to cooperate.

It is best to have a DNA test and to seek counsel with a trusted family lawyer to provide the court with solid proof of your paternity or non-paternity.