Maryland Paternity

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

As each state has their own set of laws governing paternity it is wise to find out the state laws before you find yourself without any type of support for your child or you find out you have to pay child support for a child that is not yours.

In Maryland, the law is pretty simple. If a child’s parents are not married the child has no legal father. You will need to prove who the father of your child is before you can receive any help in rearing your child. The first thing you can do if the father is present at the birth of the child is to get him to sign the birth certificate, or a form called an Affidavit of Parentage while you are still in the hospital. If he does not sign it while you are in the hospital you can take a copy with you and have him sign it and mail it to the Division of Vital Records. If you decide to do this at home, each parent must sign the form in front of a notary before mailing it in. The affidavit can be signed at anytime after the birth but it is best to send it in as soon as possible after the birth of the child.

Signing the affidavit is of course up to you. After you have signed the affidavit, the document becomes legal stating you are the parent after 60 days of signing the affidavit. After the 60 days, you no longer have recourse to rebuttal unless you can show in court fraud, duress or a material mistake of fact. This can be very hard to prove unless you agree to DNA and blood tests.

If the father is not around, you can still prove he is the father. The Department of Social Services will be able to help. They will need some information from you regarding his last known address, any letters he has written acknowledging he is the father, etc. They will locate him and if he signs the Affidavit of Parentage, that is all that is needed. If he contests his parentage, the court can order a paternity test to be given. With this test you will only need to provide a saliva sample from yourself and your child. The court will ensure that they get a sample from the alleged father.

After paternity is proven you can then begin to receive child support for your child. If you have been receiving any form of financial aid from the alleged father and he is proven not to be the father you may have to pay him back any money you have received.

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