How To Establish Paternity In Maryland

Many children in Maryland are born to unmarried parents. When this happens, the child automatically has a legal mother but no legal father. It’s good for a child to have a relationship with both parents, though, so if possible, you should try to establish paternity.

There are many benefits to establishing paternity. Have questions about the process? A paternity lawyer in Maryland can help you get started.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

Knowing a child’s father offers various benefits, such as the following:

  • Right to custody and visitation. The father is allowed to see and visit with his child.
  • Access to family medical records. The child is able to know their father’s medical history, which can help determine if there are any genetic diseases.
  • Builds a bond. The child gets emotional support from their father, which can improve self-esteem.
  • Right to child support. Being able to receive child support can be helpful for a mother who is struggling financially.
  • Allows the child to receive benefits. Knowing paternity allows the child access to their father’s benefits, such as health insurance, life insurance, Social Security, military benefits, and inheritances.

Process of Establishing Paternity

In Maryland, you can establish paternity through a court order or through an Affidavit of Parentage form. The issue of paternity can generally be resolved through genetic testing. If not, a judicial proceeding may be necessary.

In any case, your local child support office can help you understand the process of establishing paternity. They can also explain the rights and responsibilities that go along with paternity and answer questions.

Paternity can be determined through an Affidavit of Parentage. If the father is known, they can sign this form while you are still in the hospital. This will allow the father’s name to be placed on the birth certificate. You can also take the form home with you and send it to the Division of Vital Records at a later date. However, if you choose this option, both parents must sign the affidavit in the presence of a notary public. You can use the affidavit to establish paternity up until your child’s 18th birthday.

In Maryland, marriage also establishes paternity. if the mother is married at the time of the child’s conception or birth, her husband is presumed to be the baby’s father under state law. A child born or conceived during a marriage is presumed to be the legitimate child of both the wife and husband. If the husband has concerns, they would need to submit to a DNA test.

Contact a Maryland Family Law Attorney Today

Children benefit when they have both parents in their lives. If you have been wondering if you should establish paternity, don’t delay any longer.

A Columbia paternity lawyer from The Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can answer your questions and get you started on the process. Schedule a consultation by calling (410) 774-5987 or filling out the online form.


Recent Posts



Anne Arundel County

Empire Towers
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Phone: 410-766-0113

Fax: 410-766-0270

Howard County On the grounds of Columbia Mall

30 Corporate Center
10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Suite 900
Columbia, MD 21044

Phone: 410-964-0050

Baltimore County (Arbutus/Catonsville)

Phone: 410-719-7377

Fax: 410-766-0270