St. Paul Paternity Lawyer

Establishing paternity impacts a broad range of family law issues, including child custody, child support and a father's rights. At the law office of Janet L. Goehle, Attorney at Law, in St. Paul, Minnesota, I have the experience and knowledge to represent you on all matters that involve paternity disputes.

It is important to have a knowledgeable lawyer on your side. Either parent may file a petition to establish a father's paternity in Minnesota. Once paternity is established, a father can pursue custody or parenting time. It is important to note, however, that a biological father does not have a legal right to custody or parenting time merely by establishing paternity.

Establishment of paternity is necessary for a mother to pursue child support payments.

Establishing paternity provides a number of legal rights to the child or children, including health insurance coverage, the right to Social Security benefits, inheritance issues, and the right to sue for a father's wrongful death. Children also benefit by knowing their biological, cultural and medical histories.

Under Minnesota law, there are two ways to establish paternity:

  • Recognition of Parentage (ROP) — Both parents sign a sworn statement that the man is the child's father. An ROP must be filed with the Minnesota Department of Health.
  • Genetic Testing — A court can order genetic testing if the issue of paternity is disputed. These tests can be done if the mother and alleged father live in different states. A collection kit will be sent to a hospital or lab near where the parties live.

Meet With a Minneapolis Parental Rights Attorney

Legally establishing paternity is a good idea between couples who are not married, even if the parents get along. It cements the father's bond to his child and gives him legal rights. Should the parties disagree in the future, it ensures the parent with primary residential responsibility receives child support, and it allows the child to grow up with certain knowledge of who his or her parents are.

Minnesota paternity laws are complicated. If you need to resolve paternity issues, retaining the services of a qualified St. Paul paternity attorney is a smart decision. To meet with me to get your questions answered, call 651-243-6005 or email my office to schedule an appointment.