Northwest Indiana Paternity
"Children make your life important." ~Erma Bombeck
Establishing Paternity gives a child a legal father. Once established as the legal father of a child, your name will be listed on the birth certificate, you will be able to ask for the court's assistance in establishing physical and/or legal custody, and you will be financially responsible for your child. If you do not establish Paternity of your child, your child could be denied benefits from Social Security, Inheritance, Veteran's benefits, Life Insurance, and Health Insurance.
There are two ways in which Paternity is established in Indiana: (1) you may file an action with the court requesting a genetic test and that Paternity be established; or (2) within 72 hours of the child's birth, both you and the mother may sign a Paternity Affidavit at the hospital swearing that you are the father. BEWARE! Once you sign a Paternity Affidavit, you only have 60 days to request a genetic test. If you fail to request a genetic test within 60 days of signing the Paternity Affidavit, in most cases, even if you find out you are actually NOT the child's father years later, you will remain legally responsible for the child unless the biological father is willing and able to take over legal responsibility for the child. Indiana Courts favor stability for the child and do not look favorably upon "removing" someone as the father of a child even if he is not the biological father.
You may also be established as the Presumptive Father of a child if you are married when the child is born or if a child is born no later than 300 days after the marriage ends. If you question whether a child is biologically yours during your marriage or shortly after your marriage, you should immediately seek legal advice.
If you need help establishing Paternity or are questioning whether a child is your biological child, contact Rebecca for a consultation.
Rebecca Billick Attorney and Mediator