Paternity and child support

Paternity and child support are aspects which fathers have to deal with. Fathers have to work hard for the same, since after divorce mothers are given preference over fathers.


Paternity establishment is the process which is used to determine the child’s legal father. This process is usually used when the parents are not legally married. When the parents are not legally married the child does not have a legal father.

It is extremely vital that fathers go through with paternity establishment or the child would miss out on several advantages of being the child of a legal father. Some benefits which the child would miss out on are inheritance rights and social security. Unless the father establishes paternity, the name of the father would not appear on the birth certificate of the child.

The importance of paternity establishment-

Child support order can only be obtained when fatherhood is legally recognised. The father would not be liable to pay for child support unless recognised by court.

Measures to ensure that your child has a legal father-

  1. Legal paternity is established during marriage. If the parents of the child are living together at the same time the child is born, legal paternity would be established.
  2. Legal paternity can be established when the father of the child voluntarily acknowledges paternity. When the couple is unmarried, the father of the child can sign a form at the hospital, office of vital records or at a child support office. Signing forms is one of the least cumbersome way to establish paternity for unmarried parents. The form would be reviewed by the child support office. The child support officer would thereafter notarize the appropriate signatures and file the form with the office of vital records. It is mandatory that both parents be present to sign the form at the child support office.
  3. Legal paternity can also be established by a court order.

Paternity and child support-

One should keep in mind that child support payments can only be paid when paternity is established.

In case the father does not admit paternity, genetic tests can be ordered and paternity can be established by the court. Genetic tests would be carried out on the mother, the child and the alleged father. Based on the results of the genetic tests, alleged fathers would have to sign an agreed order for paternity.

Requirements for paternity establishment and child support-

  1. Full name, phone number and address of the father
  2. Date of birth and photograph and social security number of the alleged father
  3. Childs birth certificate
  4. Former or current employers full name and address
  5. Information of income in regard to bank accounts, tax returns, property records and pay stubs

Once you as a father are able to establish paternity, you would have legal rights to maintain a relationship with your child and also visit your child.

It should be always kept in mind that both the parents would be required to support their child from birth. If your partner holds the custody of your child, you can provide her with child support for the well being of your child.