How is paternity established?

We begin this process with a paternity interview to determine the facts of the case. Due to the sensitive nature of paternity establishment, some of the questions during the interview may be personal. These questions will be facts about the relationship between the mother and alleged father, the pregnancy, the birth and birth expenses of the child, and employment. A picture of the alleged father with the child is helpful as well as any other evidence of acknowledgment of the child, such as through letters or gifts.

Before a child support order can be established for a child, the alleged father must either admit to being the father of the child or be proven to be the father of the child. A popular and effective tool used to prove paternity is genetic testing. Our office prepares all of the necessary paperwork and legal documents as well as the testing, which is performed by a simple and painless inner cheek swab that harvests cheek cells from the mouth for DNA testing.

The father can acknowledge his paternity by signing a written admission at the hospital when the child is born. However, you must contact our office to establish a support order even if the father acknowledges paternity at the hospital. While it is best to establish paternity as soon as possible after the child’s birth, our office is bound to try to establish paternity for any child up to the child’s twentieth birthday.

The establishment of paternity is important. It not only informs your child of  his or her father, it also affords your child legal rights and privileges that belong to any child born within a marriage. Among these are rights to inheritance, rights to the father’s medical and life insurance benefits, and to social security and veteran’s benefits when available.

  • Prosecutor’s Victim Assistance Coordinator

    A victim of crime in connection with criminal charges filed by this office may be eligible to receive assistance from our Victim's Assistance Coordinator.

    The Victim’s Assistance Coordinator provides information for victims through interactions with law enforcement, prosecutors and during court proceedings; by providing support and guidance to victims and their families; by informing victims of their rights; and by advising victims and/or their families of case developments and any upcoming trial court or hearing dates.