Under Indiana law, a marriage is typically used to establish automatic parenthood. If you are the father of a child not born in wedlock, then there are two different ways to establish juvenile paternity rights. The Bellinger Law Office has years of experience working on juvenile paternity cases, and can help you get through the court system as quickly and as easily as possible.
A paternity affidavit is one way to establish paternity. In this case, both the mother and father sign in agreement that the alleged father is the biological father. These affidavits can be signed at any point before the child has reached the age of majority, which is the point at which individuals can sign their own contracts. In Indiana, the age of majority is 21.
The paternity affidavit should not be signed until one is sure of one’s paternity, because it is a fairly legally binding determination. Genetic testing to confirm or nullify the affidavit can only be requested within the first 60 days of signing. After this point, genetic testing cannot be requested for the purpose of challenging the affidavit.
Though signing an affidavit does assign paternity, many fathers will still need the help of an experienced paternity attorney after this point, because it does not make any change to established custody. Sole custody is automatically granted to the mother, even though the father is still obligated to provide support, usually in the form of financial child support. A further court order is needed to amend custody agreements and arrangements. If you have questions about juvenile paternity, contact our Fort Wayne juvenile paternity attorney at 260-428-2214, or contact The Bellinger Law Office online.