Establishing paternity in Ohio
In the state of Ohio, biological fathers may be obligated to pay child support to the child’s mother if they are no longer together and the child lives with the mother. However, there are circumstances in which a man may believe that he is the father of a child but needs proof in order to seek visitation. There are also circumstances in which a mother believes that a particular man is the father but needs proof in order to seek child support.
There are several ways that the paternity of a child can be established. First, the alleged father can voluntarily acknowledge paternity by completing a form called an “Acknowledgement of Paternity Affidavit.” The alleged father has the ability to sign this form at the time the baby is born or at a local Vital Statistics Registrar at a later date. If paternity is contested, either the mother or the alleged father can request that a genetic test, or paternity test, be conducted.
In the event that one or both parties fail to submit to the genetic test, they may be found in contempt and the court will need to resolve the paternity issue. If the alleged father is indeed found to be the biological father of the child, the CSEA, or Child Support Enforcement Agency, will schedule hearings to determine child support and visitation. If the genetic test determines that the man is not the child’s biological father, he may not be responsible for paying child support.
A family law attorney may assist either party with requesting a genetic test to establish paternity. If the man is determined to be the father, the attorney may help either party negotiate a child custody and visitation agreement, in addition to negotiating a child support agreement that follows the guidelines set forth by the state. Contact us today at 614-764-0423 or email us.
Source: Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, “OVERVIEW OF SERVICES“, October 29, 2014