Law Office of David L. Scott

Murfreesboro Paternity Lawyer

Establishing paternity

Unlike other states, fathers in Tennessee who are not married to the mother of their child at the time of birth do not have a presumption of parentage. Tennessee laws do not recognize either a legal or biological claim. Parental rights must be established in court. Without such recognition, a father’s claim as guardian and support for the child may be in jeopardy. Also, without the Court’s acknowledgement, these rights are difficult to enforce, if at all.

Reasons to establish paternity

With Court-recognized paternity, there are advantages for all parties involved. When an order is issued, it has the full faith and credit of the state of Tennessee behind it. Why establishing paternity helps the child, or children:

Why establishing paternity benefits the mother:

Why establishing paternity aides the father:

How can paternity be established in the state of Tennessee

There are basically two ways to ascertain parentage. Before the child in question turns 21, it can be done one of two ways:

– One party files a Petition to Establish Paternity with the Court. It can be done by either the mother, the father, the child (through a guardian), or the Tennessee Department of Human Services (if public assistance is involved).

– The Court will order a DNA test if either party declines parentage, and if paternity is established, an Order will be issued to add the parent’s name to the birth certificate. Custody, visitation, and child support may also be determined at this time.

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