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2 Ways to Establish Paternity in Ohio

In the state of Ohio, a child born to an unmarried mother does not have a legal father. This can be problematic for many men because not having legal paternity established means that the mother has all the decision-making power as to custody and other important issues in the child’s life. 

Until the father has paternity legally established, he does not have any of these rights concerning the child. After paternity is established, a father then must petition the court for custody, also called the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities. For the mother, the issue of paternity may come about if she seeks child support.

Two Methods of Establishing Paternity

In Ohio, there are two main ways you can establish the paternity of a child: through voluntary acknowledgment or through genetic testing, which can be done voluntarily or through a court order.

Voluntary acknowledgment: This is the easiest way you can establish paternity - by signing an affidavit in which you state that you are the legal father of the child. Both the mother and the father must sign the affidavit. You can sign this affidavit in the hospital when the child is born, or you can sign it after the birth of the child at your local health department or at a child support enforcement agency.  

Genetic testing: If the paternity of the child is contested or if you are uncertain of the father of the child, then genetic testing may be the best option. Genetic testing can be requested by the mother, alleged father, the child or the child’s guardian. If genetic testing is requested, the child support enforcement agency will require all parties to submit to genetic testing, and it will also issue a paternity order based on the results of the test. 

A Medina County Paternity Attorney Can Help

Establishing the legal father of a child is important to many mothers, fathers and children. There are certain benefits that establishing paternity has for not only the child but for the parents as well. Establishing paternity can be tricky, especially if one parent contests the paternity of the child. Our experienced Wooster paternity lawyers can help you go through the steps to establish paternity and take the necessary legal actions to accomplish your goals. Contact Erb Legal LLC to get the process started today. Call our office at to set up a free consultation.



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