A complaint (or petition) to establish paternity is filed by the biological father of a child to be declared the legal father after the child is born. If the parents of a child were not married when the mother became pregnant or when the child was born, the child does not have a legal father until paternity is established.

Until there is a determination that a biological father is the legal father, the child has no right to receive financial support from the father, to inherit from the father or to obtain insurance, veterans’, social security or other benefits through the father. Likewise, until paternity is legally established, the biological father has no legal rights to the child, such as visitation (or parenting time) with the child, and no legal right to participate in major decisions about the child, such as medical treatment, education or religious training.

By filing this petition, you can ask that the court to issue orders concerning the parentage, custody, visitation, support, health insurance and other matters relating to the minor children.

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