Paternity is the legal establishment of who is identified as a child's father.
In Maryland there are at least five ways to establish paternity including by:
- Affidavit of Parentage
- By Conduct
- Declaration of Parentage
Paternity is most commonly established through a few different processes including the following:
- the signing and filing of an Affidavit of Parentage;
- when parents are married prior to or at the time of the birth of the child and paternity is not denied, or
- through the courts to a proceeding establishing paternity through genetic testing.
Depending on how paternity was established, if it has been established, will determine whether the court will order genetic testing.
If paternity has not been established, an alleged father usually has a right to a genetic test.
Maryland has codified its rules for Paternity in the Family Law Article Section 5-306.
Under the law, the court determines a man is the father if
- the man was married to the child's mother at the time of the conception of the child
- the man was married to the child's mother at the time of the birth of the child
- the man is named as the father on the child's birth certificate and has not signed a denial of paternity
- the child's mother has named the man as the child's father and the man has not signed a denial of paternity.
- the man has been ordered to be the child's father
- the man has acknowledged himself, orally or in writing, to be the child's father and the mother agrees. or
- on the basis of genetic testing, the man is shown to be the child's biological father.
Paternity proceedings can be brought forward by either parent, to establish paternity, challenge paternity, and is often the first case brought when attempting to establish child support. Contact an attorney today to learn about your rights for paternity testing, or establishment. Contact us at (410)415-3617.