In order to have rights to a child that you have fathered in Indiana, you need to establish paternity. Proving that you are the father through a legal channel is important to be recognized as having rights under the law. At Schembs Law, we work with many men to establish paternity and gain parental rights.
According to IN.gov, you will be automatically recognized as a child’s father if you were married to the mother when the child was born. In addition, if you were married within the 300 days before the child was born, then you will be assigned legal paternity. This is important to understand if you got a divorce and it was not finalized more than 300 days before the baby was born. However, even without a marriage, you can still establish paternity by having a court order or filing a paternity affidavit.
You or the child’s mother can file with the court to have paternity determined. This would usually involve a DNA test for you and the child, but if there is no objection to you being the father, then the court may make a ruling without a test. In cases where the mother is receiving funds from the state, this is usually automatically required. A paternity affidavit is a document that you and the mother would create that simply says you are the father. You can create one at the health department or through the hospital after the birth. You both must swear under oath and penalty of perjury that this is true. To learn more, visit the family law page on our website.