Who is the father?

The father may be the biological father or a man legally determined to be the father.

When a child is born to an unmarried mother, she and the father are encouraged to sign an affidavit of paternity, swearing that he is the father. This often happens at the hospital.

When a married woman gives birth, the law presumes that her husband is the father. If both spouses and another man agree that the other man is the father, they may all sign an affidavit of paternity swearing to that fact. The other man is then legally the father.

The courts may designate the father in an adoption or in a paternity case. The New Hampshire Supreme Court recently said that if the mother has named a man as the father of her child, signed an affidavit of paternity, sought and received child support, he is legally the father, even if genetic testing says that he is not.

Tags: adoption, genetic testing, nh divorce law, paternity test

Posted August 13, 2008

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