Establishing Paternity in New Jersey

Establishing paternity is legally determining who the father of a child is. Paternity must be established in all child custody cases. It isn’t always necessary to take action to establish paternity. In some cases, it is self-evident. If the parents of the child were married at the time the child was conceived or born, the husband is considered the legal father and his name will be listed on the child’s birth certificate at the hospital. In all other cases, however, establishing paternity will take a few extra steps.

Proving Paternity

Unless the parents of the child are married, the father of the child will have to sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. This is called the Certificate of Parentage. This can be done at the hospital when the child is born or later on at a registrar’s or county welfare office. The Certificate of Parentage serves as proof of paternity.

If paternity is questioned or if the father of the child denies paternity, you can establish paternity with genetic testing. This can be done as soon as the baby is born using a cheek swab. If the father will not consent to genetic testing, you can have the court order it.

If the parents are married but the husband is not the father, he can deny paternity by signing an Affidavit of Denial of Paternity. But, in this case, genetic testing may still need to be done to establish the biological father.

Establishing paternity is an important first step in any child custody case. Doing so can grant certain rights to the child, such as access to insurance and other benefits. The father will be granted valuable rights as well, such as the right to custody or parenting time. It is also necessary to get a child support order.

Paternity cases can be complex if there is any dispute as to who the father is. If you need help establishing paternity, speak with an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney. A child custody attorney who has a thorough knowledge of child custody law can help you navigate the paternity case process while defending your rights.

Do you need to establish paternity in New Jersey? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can help you legally establish paternity, so you can protect your rights. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 738-8366, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.

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