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Paternity in Dakota County

Seasoned Family Law Attorneys Helping Dakota County Residents Resolve Their Paternity Disputes

When children are born outside of a marital relationship to unwed parents, Minnesota law presumes that the birth mother retains sole legal and physical custody of that child until a birth father establishes paternity. Once paternity is established, a father may then seek custodial and parenting time rights.

Establishing Paternity

There are a variety of ways that paternity can be established. For instance, if a birth father signs the child’s birth certificate or a Recognition of Parentage, paternity will be established. Additionally, genetic tests and/or an agreement reached by both parties may suffice for establishing paternity. It is important to remember that if any of these presumptions of paternity are present, an unmarried father is not automatically granted custodial or parenting time rights. In order for paternity to be conclusively established, unmarried fathers will need a court order that determines them to be the father. Once someone is conclusively determined to be the father, then he is entitled to request custodial or parenting time rights, and can even do so in the same court action.

Paternity and Child Support

Conversely, an unmarried mother is not entitled to receive child support until paternity is established. The reason for this is because as a matter of public policy, it would not be fair to make someone obligated for the support of a child unless they can be conclusively proven to be the father of the child. Once paternity is established, however, a Minnesota judge may award child support to the mother.

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For trusted Family Law Services

Howard Family Law, LLC offers exceptional legal counsel to residents throughout Eagan and Dakota County who are facing paternity or child custody issues. Call (952) 224-9410 today to schedule your free consultation with a compassionate family law attorney.