Paternity Actions in Howard County

Importance of Establishing Paternity

Once paternity is established, parental rights and responsibilities such as custody and parenting time are clearly defined, both of which can foster a father and child relationship. As the founder of The Law Office of Lisa M. Goldblatt, I have observed numerous reasons as to why paternity should be established.

Paternity establishment affects many aspects of a child's life, including education, insurance, and health, probate, and disability law. I believe that being a parent is the most rewarding experience, and having two loving parents involved in a child's upbringing is best for the child's physical and emotional wellbeing. That being said, I am proud to represent both mothers and fathers in their paternity actions, and I can help you.

Establishing Paternity in Ellicott City

In Maryland, when the mother is married at the time of the child's conception or birth, the law presumes that her husband is the baby's father. If a child is born out of wedlock, paternity can be established if both parents sign an Affidavit of Parentage, or through a court proceeding.

Establishing paternity provides the following benefits:

  • Legally establishes a father-child relationship.
  • Allows the father's name to be listed on the birth certificate.
  • Gives the father all of the rights of being a father, including the right to seek child custody and visitation, and to be consulted about adoption.
  • Allows the child to receive important benefits from the father, including financial support, Social Security, veteran's benefits, life insurance, health insurance, and an inheritance.

Maryland's Affidavit of Parentage

The Affidavit of Parentage is a legal document that both parents can sign at the time of the child's birth. This is a voluntary way to establish paternity when the mother and father are not married; the document can be signed at the hospital.

If the alleged father denies paternity, paternity can be established through the courts by ordering a genetic test (DNA test), which consists of passing a swab along the inside of the cheek to obtain a saliva sample.

If the test results conclude that the man is definitely the father, the court shall declare the alleged father as the father of the child, and he will be ordered to pay child support.

Retain a Child Custody Attorney

For competent legal support during a paternity action, I can provide you with the representation needed to resolve your paternity case. As an Ellicott City divorce lawyer with over a decade of experience, I know the applicable laws and can protect your rights every step of the way.