Parentage (Paternity)

Paternity is the “legal” acknowledgment of the relationship between a parent and a child.  When a child is born to a married couple, there is a “legal presumption” that any children born during the marriage are the children of the individuals in that marriage.  Paternity cases are usually the cases that happen when a child is born to people who are not married.  While parties may agree that a certain person is the other parent of the child, the “legal” rights and responsibilities of parenthood usually do not come into existence until a parent has been legally declared to be the parent of the  child.

Legal declaration usually happens in one of three ways; (1) a voluntary declaration of parentage has been signed by the mother and the father; (2) a parentage case for support is filed with the Office of Recovery Services (ORS); or (3) a parentage case is filed with the courts.  While ways (1) and (2) are sufficient to legally determine that an individual is a parent, and has rights and responsibilities, these ways are not as effective as filing a paternity case with the courts; they do not determine who has the legal right to custody and visitation with the child.  This like trying to build a building with no framework; it may look like it is working out well, but when things get rough there is nothing to fall back on, no framework to support decisions made regarding the child; serious problems may then arise.

Please contact me for a free 30-minute consultation.If you have questions regarding paternity, whether you have a child that you have been unable to see, someone is saying that you are the parent of their child, or someone else thinks they have a right to try and be involved in your child’s life.  Please contact me for a free 30-minute initial consultation.  The best way to protect your rights in this case is through the law.