When a child is born to unmarried parents, whether they are from Minnesota or not, certain situations can lead to thorny complications. Sometimes, both parents accept responsibility and agree to care for the child jointly. However, in other cases, either the mother refuses to share custody of the child with the father or the father denies a biological link to the child.
The denial may happen for various reasons and both parents may want to assert their claims. While the mother may want to determine paternity in order to receive child support and other help for the upbringing of the child, the father may want custody or visitations rights with his child.
There are various ways to determine paternity and one of them is by signing the recognition of parentage. Once the parent signs the ROP, it gives various rights to the parent over the child. The parent can seek child support, child custody and even claim visitation rights. However, where no ROP is signed, the parent can take other steps to legally determine fatherhood.
Filing a paternity action can help the parents. Preparing and filing relevant documents and attending meetings and hearings in the district court is important in such actions. When paternity is contested, DNA testing can help confirm paternity. With a DNA test, the father can prove that he is the biological father of the child, or that he has not fathered the child.
However, the parents should know that anything said or done unknowingly can relinquish their rights and can make it difficult for them to get the desired outcome. Therefore, the person should know the stipulations of family law while filing such a claim.
For more information on the law related to paternity actions, please visit our paternity disputes webpage.