Washington County Family Law Attorneys Help Clients Resolve Paternity Issues

Leading clients through complicated paternity matters in Washington County, Dakota County, Burnsville, Stillwater and Woodbury, MN

Whether you want to bring a paternity action to support a child support claim or you need to contest a paternity allegation, Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. can help. Our Oakdale law firm focuses solely on family law. With more than 30 years’ combined experienced, our attorneys have the knowledge and skills to resolve your paternity issue.

Why is it important to establish paternity?

Paternity can become an issue in child custody and child support disputes. Under Minnesota law, a biological mother who was not married to the child’s father when the child was born or conceived has sole physical and legal custody of the child until paternity has been established. To make a claim for custody, the putative father must establish paternity.

Conversely, to create a child support obligation on the part of the putative father, the unmarried mother must establish the father’s paternity.

The child and both parents benefit from parenting time, and both parents have a responsibility to support their son or daughter. Other benefits for the child of having clear paternity include:

Identity — A child has the right to the sense of belonging that comes from knowing both parents.

Financial — Minnesota law requires both parents to support their child. The financial support of only one parent may not be sufficient for the child’s needs.

Medical — Your child should know his or her full medical history, which could include inheritable health problems.

Benefits — Other benefits the child should be entitled to but may not be eligible for if paternity is not established include:

  • Social Security benefits
  • Veterans benefits
  • Inheritance rights
  • Military veterans’ benefits
  • Life insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Tribal registration

How does a Minnesota court establish paternity?

When a child is born to an unmarried mother, there are a couple of options to establish paternity. If the mother and putative father agree that he is the biological father, they can sign a Recognition of Parentage form. If the parties have not signed a Recognition of Parentage form, either party may ask the court to enter an order finding that the man is the biological and legal father of the child.  If either party challenges the paternity of the child, the court orders both parties and the child to submit to genetic testing to establish paternity.

If a putative father refuses to attend the court proceedings in an action to determine paternity, the court can enter an order establishing paternity.

Contact a Minnesota paternity lawyer today for a free consultation

Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. provides family law representation to clients throughout Minnesota, including in Washington County, Dakota County, Burnsville, Eagan and Woodbury, MN.  Contact us online, or call us at 651.760.7524. Flexible scheduling is available, and parking is free at our office.