In the past, we’ve discussed something called a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. This document is used by unmarried parents of a child to legally acknowledge who is its father. However, what happens when there is a dispute about a child’s paternity and one side won’t cooperate with the other? If this is the case, a father or mother might have to obtain court-established paternity from a Massachusetts family law court.
Reasons a Person Might Need Court-Established Paternity in MA
Court-established paternity can be useful for a child’s mother or father depending on their situation. Unmarried mothers might need a court to establish paternity so they can receive child support payments from resistant fathers. Likewise, a person might need to use court-established paternity to prove that they aren’t a child’s father and shouldn’t have to pay any kind of support. Finally, a father might need to prove that a child is theirs so they can establish their rights as a father.
Other ways establishing paternity include:
- Understanding a child’s genetic background and risk of illness
- Obtaining benefits for a child such as health insurance
- Enabling a father to receive Social Security, pension, veterans’, or inheritance benefits
- Enabling a person to receive proper public assistance if needed
How to Establish Paternity in Massachusetts
Requesting a court to establish paternity can start by filling out the Massachusetts form to do so. If a person wishes to establish paternity in Massachusetts, they can also request help from the Department of Revenue (DOR). Doing so is free of charge and any guardian, parent, or even the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can request assistance to establish paternity of a child.
What If I Fathered the Child of a Married Woman?
As mentioned above, Massachusetts law assumes that any child born to a married couple belongs to the male of that relationship. If you’re the father of a child with a married woman, you’ll need to secure signed documents from the person who was assumed to be the father of the child. If they won’t cooperate, you’ll have to obtain court-established paternity.
How Do MA Courts Establish Paternity?
Usually, courts try to use DNA testing to determine the real father of a child. If the legal parents of a child refuse to cooperate with this testing, a judge might have to rely on sworn testimony, important information, and other types of evidence to establish paternity.
Get Help from Trusted Massachusetts Family Law Attorneys from Miller Law Group, P.C.
At Miller Law Group, P.C., our attorneys have dedicated their careers to helping people through difficult family law matters. If you need help establishing paternity for your child—whether you’re the mother, father, or someone who isn’t sure—we’re standing by to help. We’ll listen to your story and help you find the best path forward to obtaining court established paternity. Importantly, our firm uses a collaborative approach to cases to make sure they get the experience and thoughtful approach they deserve. We know our clients are going through difficult moments and we want to make sure they get the help they deserve.
Call (508) 502-7002 to speak with our Massachusetts family law firm about getting court-established paternity.