Establishing paternity is a key step in many child custody cases. If either the mother or the court calls into question the validity of your paternity, it becomes more difficult for you to defend your parental rights without first passing a paternity test.
The Georgia Division of Child Support Services outlines several ways that a father can establish paternity without the need to undergo a mandatory paternity test. In the event that you wish to establish paternity without undergoing a paternity test, you can do so by following one of the provided methods.
What is a paternity test?
A paternity test involves sampling DNA from the child, the mother and the supposed father. A postnatal paternity test entails a simple cheek swab and even a prenatal paternity test is non-invasive by modern means. Paternity testing is mandatory by Georgia law in all new child support cases in which paternity is not yet established.
What other ways can you establish paternity?
The simplest way to establish paternity in Georgia is to provide proof of your marriage with the mother as of the time of the child’s birth. If unwed, you and the mother can instead sign a Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement Form either at the time of the child’s birth or later at your county’s Vital Records Office. A final way to establish paternity is through a court order, such as when the court accepts a divorce decree or separation agreement.
If you are unable or unwilling to undergo a paternity test, know that you have other options available to you. If another party refuses to acknowledge your legally-established paternity, it may be necessary to pursue further legal action in your child custody case.