DiLorenzo & Rush | Counselors of Law
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What should you know about paternity efforts in New Jersey?

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2024 | Family Law

Many of the child custody and support disputes that occur in family law courts in New Jersey start at the same place: establishing paternity. So, what is paternity and what role will paternity play in your legal case?

Paternity basics

In one sense, the concept of paternity is quite straightforward: establishing who the child’s father is. Obviously, this involves establishing a biological connection between the child and the potential father. For the most part, that aspect of paternity is established via a DNA test. Those tests are highly reliable in determining, from a genetic standpoint, whether or not the purported father of the child in the legal case is, in fact, the father.

So, why establish paternity? Because, otherwise, the court won’t be able to establish child custody and child support orders that can go into effect for the proper parents of the child in question. It is important to note that establishing paternity isn’t just a process that applies to parents who are not married – married couples, although there are certain presumptions about fatherhood in place, may also need to establish paternity.

Some people may think that establishing paternity is all about who needs to pay child support. But, it is easy to forget the positive aspects of establishing paternity. For example, once paternity is established, both parents can benefit from custody and visitation schedules so that they can begin to develop their relationships with the child. And, the parents are entitled to be informed of important decisions regarding the child, such as if the one parent wants to put the child up for adoption.