Paternity in New Jersey
The process of establishing paternity in New Jersey is essential for all parents, whether they are married or not. It carries emotional and legal benefits for both the child and the parents. This guide covers the procedures for establishing paternity in New Jersey, including situations when the parents are not married.
Establishing Paternity in New Jersey When You’re Not Married
When the parents of a newborn are married in New Jersey, they can both sign the birth certificate before leaving the hospital. This simple act establishes parentage and confers the associated rights and responsibilities upon the spouses.
However, if the parents are not married, only the mother can sign the birth certificate in the State of New Jersey. To add the father’s name to the birth certificate, the father must complete a “Certificate of Parentage.” If both the mother and father sign their respective sections of the document before leaving the hospital, establishing paternity is free of charge. Parents can also complete the Certificate of Parentage after leaving the hospital, but there may be a filing fee involved.
By adding his name to the birth certificate, the father gains legal rights to the child and assumes the responsibilities and rewards of fatherhood. Establishing paternity in New Jersey allows both parents to:
- Establish an Emotional Bond with the Child: It provides an opportunity for both parents to form a strong emotional connection with their child.
- Share the Responsibility of Parenthood: It ensures that both parents share the responsibility of raising the child, including decisions related to the child’s well-being.
- Show Commitment to the Child:It demonstrates the commitment of both parents to their child’s upbringing and future.
There are also significant benefits for the child. When the father’s name is on the birth certificate, the child gains access to:
- The father’s benefits, such as Social Security, health insurance, and veteran’s benefits if applicable.
- Both families’ medical histories and lineage information, which can be valuable for the child’s health and identity.
The advantages of establishing paternity in New Jersey make it a worthwhile endeavor for all parties involved.
If You’re Unsure Whether You’re the Father
If there is uncertainty about whether you are the baby’s biological father, it is crucial not to complete the Certificate of Parentage until you are certain.
To determine if you are the father, a DNA test is necessary. Many labs in New Jersey offer DNA tests to establish paternity. You can seek a referral from your doctor or contact a nearby lab for guidance. The state-run New Jersey Paternity Opportunity Office can also provide information about affordable DNA tests through your local welfare agency.
If the DNA samples show a match of 95 percent or greater, the court can issue an order of paternity. Once established, the father can then add his name to the birth certificate.
If you need assistance in establishing paternity in New Jersey, Petrelli Previtera, LLC can provide the necessary guidance and support. Our team can help you complete the required paperwork for voluntary paternity or assist you in filing for an involuntary paternity hearing or obtaining a child support order. Contact us for more details.
Related Resources For Contested Custody in New Jersey
At Petrelli Previtera, we support families in New Jersey with questions about child custody. Our goal is to provide help you navigate this challenging process and offer clarity and guidance in complex family law matters.
Resources on our website cover topics, including New Jersey’s custody laws, including if NJ is a 50/50 Custody State, signs that may need a child custody lawyer, effective strategies for preparing for a custody trial, grandparents and stepparent’s rights for custody.
Our legal team of NJ custody lawyers also has worked with clients in matters of Child Support and can address your questions. Whether it’s about the tax implications of child support, modifications to support, understanding child support add-ons, fulfilling obligations for adult child support, or a parent’s responsibility to contribute to college expenses in NJ, we offer guidance and support.
Please note that while our information provides valuable guidance, it is not a substitute for personalized legal advice. For tailored advice that suits your unique New Jersey custody case, contact Petrelli Previtera.
Support from our Legal Team
Establishing paternity in New Jersey is a straightforward process that holds numerous benefits for both parents and children. Whether you are married or not, taking the necessary steps to establish paternity ensures that your child enjoys the legal and emotional support of both parents.