Seattle Family Lawyer

Attorney for Establishment of Paternity in Seattle

The Seattle family lawyer can help any client establish the paternity of a child in whatever circumstance.

There are three ways to establish paternity in the state of Washington---marriage, the signing of a paternity affidavit, or going to court.

In the case of marriage, if a mother and father decide to marry before a child is born, the marriage establishes what is called “presumption of paternity;” because the parents are legal spouses, the state assumes that they are the natural parents of the child. Unless paternity is legally challenged, the husband is assumed to be the father of the child with all the rights and responsibilities due him.

A Paternity Affidavit is a legal form signed by a man that indicates he is the father of a child. This form is only legal after it has been signed, notarized, and filed with the Washington State Department of Health Center for Health Statistics. This affidavit is typically signed at the hospital or other location where the child is born. Signing within five days of the child’s birth will not require a filing fee. In the event that the affidavit is not signed within this period, a form can be mailed to you.

Where the Seattle family attorney typically comes in to assist is to help a client establish paternity through going to court. This option is especially helpful if a client needs assistance with getting the cooperation of the parties in question. The judge will typically order genetic testing of the mother, suspected father, and child to determine his or her paternity. After paternity is established, custody, visitation, and child support can be established.

If you would like to establish paternity of a child, contact the Seattle family lawyer today.