Boise Family Law Attorneys Assisting Clients in Paternity Matters

At Foley Freeman, we handle a full range of family law matters on behalf of clients throughout southern Idaho, including cases involving questions of paternity. Establishing or challenging paternity is a major decision for parents that will affect a child in profound ways. We appreciate the seriousness of the issue, and work tirelessly to obtain the right result for our client.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

Establishing paternity is very important for a child. First, the child receives the emotional benefit of knowing the identity of his or her parents, and it often takes the income and resources of both parents to fairly support a child. Also, establishing paternity legally entitles the child to the same rights and privileges as those of a child whose parents are married, including:

  • Legal documentation identifying both parents
  • The names of both parents on the child’s birth certificate
  • Access to the health histories of both the mother and father for medical care and treatment of the child
  • Health and life insurance coverage from either parent
  • The right to inherit from either parent
  • The right to receive social security and veteran’s benefits if available

Once paternity is established, a court can make orders for child support, health insurance, child custody, visitation, and reimbursement of pregnancy and birth expenses. Without establishing paternity, however, a court cannot make orders regarding these issues. If one parent needs child support and the other will not pay voluntarily, the court will not be able to order child support until paternity is established.

Paternity Establishment in Idaho

A mother, father, or child each has the right to establish paternity depending on the individual desires of the parties involved. In Idaho, there are three ways to establish paternity:

  • Through a judicial proceeding, such as a paternity order or divorce decree
  • Through a voluntary acknowledgement filed with the state’s Vital Statistics Unit
  • Through marriage if the parents were married at the time of the child’s conception, at the time of the child’s birth, or the parents subsequently marry and sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity or Subsequent Marriage and Surname of Child form, to be filed with the Vital Statistics Unit

When paternity is agreed upon by the parents, signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity is a relatively routine matter, and if necessary, child support and custody can be involved in the same proceeding. When paternity is disputed, however, the process can be much more complex, requiring court appearances and compelled DNA testing. At Foley Freeman, our family law attorneys have represented both mothers and fathers in paternity actions, helping clients prove or exclude paternity based on the circumstances at hand.

Seek Advice & Representation from an Experienced Boise Paternity Lawyer

Establishing paternity can be a sensitive matter, especially when paternity is yet unknown or contested. If you live in the Boise Valley and need assistance with a paternity issue, please contact Foley Freeman to speak with an experienced Idaho family law attorney. Based in Meridian, we serve clients throughout southern Idaho, including the cities of Eagle, and Caldwell.