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Paternity

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 35 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.

Our Attorneys
Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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