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Franklin Divorce Attorney > Blog > Family > How To Establish Paternity In Tennessee

How To Establish Paternity In Tennessee


Establishing a parent-child relationship through paternity is one of the best things for a father and their child. There are many benefits to everyone in the family when the legal father of a child is established, and there are different ways to do so in Tennessee. If you are interested in establishing the paternity of your child and would like to learn more about your legal options, the experienced Franklin family law attorneys at Fort, Holloway & Rogers are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your case.

Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity

If a couple is married, paternity of a child is presumed, and no action needs to be taken by the parents to establish paternity. However, if the parents are not married but in agreement about the paternity of the child, they can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity. This form can be filled out at the hospital after the child’s birth or later after the mother and child return home from the hospital at the local child support office, health department, or Office of Vital Records. Once the form is signed and notarized, the father is listed on the birth certificate as the legal father.

Court Ordered Genetic Testing

If one parent refuses to acknowledge paternity or participate in the establishing of paternity for a child, the parent who wishes to determine paternity can file a petition with the court. This petition can be filed by the mother, potential father, child (through a guardian), or the Tennessee Department of Human Services if the child is receiving public assistance. A judge can order genetic testing of the potential father and child to determine whether the man is the biological father of the child.

A genetic test is non-invasive and painless. It involves taking a buccal swab, or swab of the inner cheek, of each person and sending them to a laboratory for testing. The results typically arrive within a few weeks and can determine absolutely whether or not the man tested is the biological father of the child. If a parent refuses to participate in the test, they can be held in contempt of court until they agree.

Through a paternity action, a father can be establish as the legal father to a child, a parenting plan can be established, and child support can be set (or modified).

If you are having problems with the other parent regarding your child, it is important to meet with an experienced attorney regarding establishing parentage.

Talk to Our Office Today

Are you interested in determining the paternity of your child or been served with a notice for a paternity action in Williamson County? If so, the knowledgeable family law attorneys at Fort, Holloway, & Rogers are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your case and speak with one of our attorneys now.

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