Mothers often must try to establish the legal identity of their children's fathers.  Some biological fathers may try to establish their parental identity. Establishing paternity can be very complex. Petitions may be filed by a mother or by a biological father. In either case, there are many relevant issues. Timing can be one of the most important.


It may be extremely helpful to discuss those issues with a family law attorney before the child is born or immediately after. Important factors include:

- Whether the birth certificate has a father listed

- Whether the father has signed a voluntary acknowledgment that he is the biological father of the child

- The later relationship between the potential biological father and the child

- The passage of time after the potential biological father signs a voluntary acknowledgment or the birth certificate


The outcome of these issues can differ depending on the specific facts of each case.

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