Amaral & Associates, P.C. - Divorce, Family Law

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Establishing Paternity in Massachusetts

paternity

In Massachusetts, the custody of a child born to unwed parents is presumed to be solely with the mother of the child, unless and until paternity of the child is established, and there is a court order regarding custody.

It is important for both a mother and father to have paternity established, because without establishing paternity, there can be no child support order issued, or any order relative to custody and parenting time (also known as visitation), or any other orders regarding the child.

A father can establish paternity in Massachusetts in one of two ways. First, when the child is born, the father can sign a “Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage” which is an affidavit in which the father states he is the biological father. In this case, the father is added to the child’s birth certificate. In this circumstance, the mother is still considered to have sole custody of the child. In order for there to be a custody order, either parent can then file a Complaint for Support-Custody-Visitation. After this complaint is filed, the court can issue orders regarding child support, … Read More »



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