Establish Paternity

Paternity of a child can be established in several ways. When a child is born in an NC hospital the hospital provides an opportunity for the parents to sign an Affidavit Of Parentage For Child Born Out Of Wedlock (DHHS-1660).

This form, which is identical to the Affidavit Of Parentage (DSS-4697) used by N.C. CSE contains the following:

1. A sworn statement by the mother consenting to the assertion of paternity by the father and declaring that the named man is the child’s natural father;
2. A sworn statement by the named name, declaring that he believes he is the natural father of the child;
3. Information explaining the effect of signing the Affidavit and an acknowledgment of receipt of this information; and
4. The Social Security numbers of the mother, the father, and child and other demographic data for these individuals.

Once the parents have signed, the father’s name will be added to the birth certificate. If the parents do not sign an affidavit at birth, paternity can be established by both parents signing an Affidavit of  Parentage. N.C. law also provides that if a child is born out of wedlock and the parents of the child subsequently marry the child will be given all rights as if he were born of the marriage. If the mother is married to someone other than the father of the child, the father of the child can file with the court to establish paternity.

Paternity of child is assumed to be the person to whom the mother of the child is married. The presumption can be overcome by clear and convincing evidence. The court can consider the testimony of witnesses and order paternity test. A paternity test showing a 97% or greater likelihood of fatherhood is considered clear and convincing evidence of paternity. Once paternity is established the custodial parent can seek child support.

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Angela McIlveen
CEO/Partner Attorney
Angela McIlveen is a founding Partner Attorney at the McIlveen Family Law Firm. As a partner at the McIlveen Law Firm, she handles cases in family law including child custody and support, divorce, alimony, adoption, separation, domestic violence and equitable distribution. She is often called upon to teach CLE classes to other attorney and to speak at events.

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