& Boyd Law Offices
902 Esther Street,
Vancouver, WA 98660.
FAX: (360) 690-0068
In a paternity action, the biological relationship between a father and a child is legally established. By definition, the parents are unmarried and filing a paternity action is the vehicle to establish a residential schedule and child support. Paternity cases can be initiated by a mother, father, or even the State of Washington.
If the father is not listed on the child's birth certificate or has not filed an affidavit of paternity, the court can order genetic testing to establish the biological bond. Once paternity is established a father can develop a relationship with his child and pursue a visitation schedule. It can also ensure that a child gets the financial stability he or she needs through a formal order of child support.
If the father is already established, the court can skip directly into entering a custody order and child support.
It is important to realize that Washington still has presumptions as to "presumed" fathers. This occurs when a mother is married and has a child. It is imperative to "disestablish" parentage as quickly as possible to overcome the potentially permanent marriage presumption.