Paternity means "being a legal father." If a child is born while two people are married, or within 300 days of their divorce, the husband, or the ex-husband, of the mother will be presumed to be the father of the child. This means that the father’s paternity is already recognized.  If a child is born to parents who are not married at the time of birth, paternity can be established one of three ways:

  • Both parents voluntarily complete an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) (Note: When a child also has a presumed father, the mother and presumed father must also sign the AOP stating that the presumed father is not the child’s biological father);
  • An agreed court order (negotiated through the CSRP process in the child support office, or at court);
  • A non-agreed court order (the judge decides contested issues, this can occur when the case is pursued through CSRP or when filed directly with the court).

If you have any safety concerns about any of the above, contact the statewide child support call center (1-800-252-8014)to discuss your concerns.