For unmarried couples in Virginia who share a child, paternity is one of the issues that often comes up as a matter of family law. Mothers who are concerned about the establishment of paternity and whether or not it is important need to understand certain points regarding this. Knowing the facts about paternity, how it influences child support, and what to do in the event of a dispute are all imperative.
Regarding paternity, the father agreeing to sign a form known as the Acknowledgement of Paternity and negotiating an amount to be paid to support the child must have a notarized form filed with the Office of Vital Records. A father who is not willing to sign this form or to provide child support will require that the mother sign a petition to the court or let the Division of Child Support Enforcement know. There must be a form that names the person who the mother believes to be the biological father. The DCSE can contact the man and ask that paternity be admitted voluntarily or there be a test to determine whether or not he is the father. DCSE can also assist with gathering evidence for a hearing.