When an unmarried mother gives birth to a child, parents have to take action when they want to establish paternity of the child. One of the ways to do that is to create a paternity affidavit signed by the affiant or the person claiming to be the child’s father. Containing sworn statements in accordance with the law, this legal document is an important tool to establish the father’s parental rights. Read on below to find out more about paternity affidavits, how to create one, and view sample templates in this article. Read More
A Paternity Affidavit is a type of legal document used by fathers who want to establish their parental rights and responsibilities to their child especially if the child was born to an unmarried mother. It helps the court trace the biological lineage of a child and helps fathers provide care and support of a child determined to be theirs. Along with a Paternity Affidavit, fathers are usually required to provide additional proof. A DNA test is done to prove who the biological father is and official results are included as an attachment to the document.
How to write a Paternity Affidavit in five steps
Unmarried couples who are expecting a child need to prepare for a paternity affidavit so the father can have legal rights to the child. This type of affidavit can be prepared ahead of time so that when the child is born, all they need to do is sign the document at the hospital or at the health center at a later time.
Establish a purpose of your paternity affidavit
Aside from establishing a biological father’s parental right to a child born out of wedlock, paternity affidavits can also be used for the following reasons:
Change birth records of a child so a new birth certificate can be issued with the Affiant named as the father.
Acknowledgment of biological fatherhood and establishment of father’s rights to care and support for the child.
Modification of child support order.
It is important that the purpose is clear to you so that there won’t be any confusion along the way.
Identify the Affiant and make a sworn statement
The person claiming to be the father of the child should be identified as the affiant in the affidavit. Paternity affidavit is established by claiming parentage of an illegitimate child. As the affiant, you must disclose your full legal name, civil status, and current residence. After that, make a statement of truth that the facts stated in the affidavit are true and correct in accordance with the law.
Include all relevant information needed to establish paternity
For a paternity affidavit be considered in court, it must include the following information:
The mother’s sworn statement that the affiant or the person claiming parentage is the father of the child
The affiant’s statement that he is the father of the child
Statements that detail about the child–its name and date of birth name
The purpose of the affidavit, the effects of signing it, and availability of some type of support for the child
Social security of both parents
Read through and review the affidavit
After preparing the affidavit, do not sign it yet. Review all the details indicated in the paternity affidavit to catch errors and correct erroneous facts. Remember that this is a legal document and sworn statements must be true and correct to the best of your ability.
Have the affidavit signed and notarized
Once done and you have reviewed the affidavit, bring it to a notary public if it has been 72 hours after the child’s birth. The document must be signed by the mother and the father in front of the notary public so they can verify the facts stated in the affidavit. If you cannot find a notary, you may also head over to your local health department and file your paternity affidavit there.
How does the paternity affidavit work?
A form can be requested at the hospital where the child is born, at the health center, or you can write one on your own. But the affidavit must be signed by the unmarried mother of the child and the person who is claiming to be the other parent to establish a father-child relationship. After signing, it must be filed to the proper office and if no one rescinds the document within 60 days, it will then be considered as the final document to determine parentage.
Can the father get child custody after signing a paternity affidavit?
The mother remains to have the custody of the child even if the father has signed a paternity affidavit. The father can file for a motion and request for child custody. Until then, the child will be with the mother’s custody.
Is it still possible for the affiant to change their minds and withdraw their statements?
It depends on your state laws. Affiants are given 60 days after signing the paternity affidavit can file for a request in the court for DNA blood or genetic testing. If the result reveals that the affiant is not the father, the court will set aside the affidavit and set it aside. After 60 days, the paternity affidavit can be cancelled if the affiant can provide proof that he was tricked or coerced into signing the affidavit to acknowledge parentage of the child.
Where can we make a paternity affidavit?
A paternity affidavit can be signed at the hospital within 72 hours of a child’s birth. If the affidavit has not been signed after 72 hours, it can be signed at the local health department. Both the mother and the father must sign the affidavit so that the affiant can be legally considered as the child’s father.
A Paternity Affidavit is a legally binding document that affects a child’s life. It shouldn’t be taken lightly and should only be signed and filed if the affiant is 100% sure that he is the biological parent of the child. It is easy to create one. You may fill out the forms that are available at the hospital within 72 hours after the child’s birth, or file the document at the local health department. You can also make one on your own with the templates available on our website.