Paternity

Custody for non-married persons is treated the same way as for married couples. If the parties are not married, a determination of paternity must be made before a custody order may be enforced.

It is necessary for the father to claim paternity of the children if he wishes to seek custody or visitation. This is not a difficult procedure and can be done at the same time as the application for custody or visitation. A father can claim paternity of a child through a court order, through providing support to the child, or through filing an acknowledgment of paternity with the local registrar of vital statistics.

If paternity is disputed by the alleged father and the mother will cooperate, a simple blood test will quickly resolve the issue.  If the mother refuses to cooperate, then the court must become involved in order to protect a man from false claims of paternity.