Many states have laws surrounding presumptive paternity. Presumptive paternity in these states, like Washington, means children born under an existing marriage or registered partnership have a presumptive father: the husband.
Where does that leave unmarried fathers, if they want to seek rights or custody, or unmarried mothers who wish to seek child support relief?
There are other ways to establish parenthood in our state.
A few options for establishing parentage
If you have an agreeable relationship with the other parent, you both can agree to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage. It is understandable that if paternity is a contentious matter, this may not be an option.
You can also request the Washington family court intervene to establish paternity. Paternity can be established through genetic lab testing, or what the court deems necessary.
A genetic test can often establish parentage, but in the case of non-biological children, there are also paths for you to establish parentage. Washington courts can also help these families.
Establishing parentage for the future
Establishing parentage, does not always need to be about conflict. Establishing parentage can help ward off future issues by guaranteeing both parents legal rights to a child, should something happen to the other, or if the child is born under an existing marriage, but is fathered by another individual.
If you need assistance regarding asserting your parental rights, a family law attorney can help you with any and all stages of the process.
If you face a conflict during the end of a relationship, establishing custody or child support, a family law attorney can also be invaluable in these matters.