- Establishing Paternity
- The process of having a man legally declared the father of a child
- M.G.L c. 209C Child Born Out of Wedlock / Paternity Law
- A court case related to a child born to parents who have never been married to each other is called a “paternity” case or “Chapter 209C” case.
Paternity is automatically established if the parents are married when the child is born. The husband is the child’s legal father.
If the parents aren't married when the child is born, paternity needs to be established. If paternity is not established, the child doesn't have a legal father. This is true even if both parents are living together with the child.
- The Probate and Family Court has the authority to enter orders for
- vistation/parenting time
- child support,
- health insurance,
- uninsured medical expenses, and
- other issues related to a child born outside of marriage.
Links to Resources
- Paternity Issues; Family Law Advocacy for Low and Moderate Income Litigants, 3rd Edition 2018
- Massachusetts law about paternity (parentage)
- Learn about establishing Paternity - Department of Revenue
- Paternity Guide for Unmarried Parents - Department of Revenue