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Methods of establishing paternity in North Carolina

As an unwed North Carolina parent, there are numerous reasons you may want to establish legal paternity. Maybe you are a mother and are hoping to collect child support from the man you know fathered your child, or perhaps you believe you fathered a child and want rights to that child, but the child’s mother disputes your parentage. At the Marshall Taylor Law Firm, we have a firm understanding on the methods used in North Carolina to establish paternity, and we have assisted many mothers and fathers across the state in their attempts to do so.

Your reasoning for establishing paternity notwithstanding, the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services outlines the methods you may use to do so. First, if a name appears on a child’s birth certificate, then the state assumes that the named person is the child’s father.  A second way for you to establish paternity is through signing an affidavit of parentage. To take this route, both mother and father must sign the legal document before submitting it to the vital records office within the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

If you are a father looking to establish paternity, you may also attempt to do so through a paternity action. This process involves filing an action within a district court and paying a fee to establish paternity. You may also pursue a legitimation action through a superior court in the county where either you or your presumed child lives.

A child custody action is yet another method of establishing paternity, and it does so through a judicial decree. A child support order does the same, and a father must file for this type of action within a district court. More information about establishing paternity is available on our web page. 

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