Below you will find information, guides and forms regarding paternity. Click on your link below.
What Does Paternity Mean?
Paternity means legally establishing who the father of a child is. In some cases, establishing paternity will be straightforward. In others, it will be more complicated. It will all depend on your situation.
If you were never married to your child's father and you want to get regular child support from him, you may need to establish paternity at the same time that you file court documents seeking child support.
Why Do You Need to Establish Paternity?
Establishing paternity is what creates a legal connection between a child's father and the child. The paternity of a child can be established by the voluntary signing of an acknowledgment of paternity by both the mother and
father or by a finding by the court, in response to a Complaint to Establish Paternity, that a certain man is the father of a certain child.
If asked to establish paternity, the Court may order the parties to submit to blood or genetic testing. This is done by means of a buccal swab (a swab of the inner lining of the cheek) on site in every Court which has the
Department of Revenue block time.
After paternity is established, the Court may enter a child support/or visitation order which can be enforced and/or modified. Parties to a paternity case may see the file with the presentation of proper identification.
Answering Important Paternity Questions
Two information guides are available to assist you through the paternity legal process and frequently asked questions such as:
- What is a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity?
- What court papers will I need to file?
- How do you prove paternity?
- What are the custody and visitation issues?
- What if I need child support immediately?
The first Informational guide is the Paternity Guide. Click here to download
The second is Information About How to Establish Paternity and you can find this from the Massachusetts Legal Help Center. Click
here to download their brochure.
Below is a list of forms that you would need to file for establishing paternity or asking for support, visitation or custody of a minor child in which the parents have not been married. The forms have been created in a .pdf
format and you must have acrobat reader in order to view and fill out these forms. These forms are available on-line and can be filled in before printing.
If you do not have acrobat reader installed on your computer, please click on the icon for a free download.
- Complaint to Establish Paternity (Click here to download form)
- Certificate of birth (This is obtained from the city or town clerk in the town/city in which the child was born)
- Affidavit Disclosing Care and Custody Proceedings (Click here to download form)
- Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (Click here to download form)