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How does one establish paternity?

Nevada parents may need to establish paternity whether they are the mother or father of a child. If a mother is married, it is assumed that the husband is the father of a child. In all other circumstances, paternity must be established for the mother to collect child support and for the father to exercise his rights as a parent.

If both parents agree on who the father is and the father wishes to acknowledge paternity, the parents can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity. If the father is a minor, his parents must sign another form giving him permission to sign the acknowledgment. If the father will not acknowledge paternity or the mother does not know who the father is, she can contact the local Child Support Office. The Child Support Office can also help in locating the potential father or fathers, and paternity tests can be ordered.

The test can eliminate candidates for paternity and can establish paternity with an accuracy of at least 99 percent based on comparison of cells. Paternity can be established at any time from a child’s birth up to the age of 21.

A mother may have a child and wish to establish paternity, and she may not know which of two men may be the father. She might be able to locate one man who agrees to a paternity test, but she might be unable to find the other. She could contact the Child Support Office for help in finding the other man and compelling him to take a paternity test. Once the father is identified, she may pursue child support and he may pursue visitation or custody rights. This blog should not be taken as legal advice, and every paternity situation is unique.

Source: dwss.nv.org, “What Every Parent Should Know About Establishing Paternity“, November 14, 2014

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