Paternity Attorney Serving Boise & Meridian, Idaho

Becoming a parent can be a wonderful part of life. For some fathers, establishing paternity is crucial as they seek to enforce their parental rights. For some mothers, establishing paternity is critical in obtaining child support from the father. DNA testing can clear up doubts about an individual’s paternity. With DNA testing being more than 99% accurate, a DNA test (cheek swab or blood test) from a reputable source can help eliminate uncertainty regarding paternity.

At Shep Law Group, our attorneys strive to help individuals enforce parental rights by establishing paternity. We proudly help individuals in the communities of Boise, Meridian, and the rest of Idaho implement a child support plan, obtain child support, or protect visitation rights. Set up a consultation with us today. 

Why Is Paternity Important?

Establishing paternity is crucial for several reasons. It can help meet the needs of children, mothers, and fathers.

Why It's Important for the Child 

  • Establishing legal rights. When a child’s paternity is established, they have a legal right to financial support, inheritance, and other benefits from their father. 

  • Emotional and psychological benefits. Knowing the identity of their biological father can help a child establish a sense of identity and belonging. 

  • Access to medical information. Knowing the father’s medical history can be important for the child’s medical treatment and potential genetic conditions. 

Why It's Important for the Mother 

  • Establishing legal rights. When paternity is established, the mother can seek financial support from the father to help cover the child’s costs. 

  • Access to resources. The mother may be entitled to government benefits, such as child support, medical insurance, or other financial assistance. 

  • Emotional closure. Knowing the biological father’s identity can bring emotional closure and a sense of completeness for the mother. 

Why It's Important for the Father

  • Establishing legal rights. When paternity is established, the father has legal rights to visitation or parenting time, custody, and decision-making for the child. 

  • Emotional bonding. Knowing the child’s identity and involvement in their life can help the father form a strong emotional bond with the child. 

  • Responsibility. Establishing paternity means that the father has a legal and moral responsibility to support and care for the child, which can positively influence their life. 

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Establishing Paternity in Idaho 

In Idaho, paternity can be established both voluntarily and involuntarily. Here’s an overview of each method: 

Voluntary Paternity

Voluntary paternity establishment occurs when both the mother and father agree on the child’s biological father. There are two ways to establish paternity in Idaho voluntarily: 

  • Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP). This document is one that both the mother and father sign, acknowledging that the man is the child’s biological father. This document is typically signed at the hospital shortly after the child’s birth. Still, it can be signed any time after the child’s birth. 

  • Voluntary Declaration of Paternity (VDOP). This document is typically signed at the child support office or the Vital Statistics Unit of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. 

Involuntary Paternity Establishment

Involuntary paternity establishment occurs when one party wants to establish paternity, but the other party does not agree. In Idaho, there are two ways to establish paternity involuntarily: 

  • Court order. Either the mother or the alleged father can petition the court to establish paternity. The court may order a DNA test to determine the biological father of the child. If the DNA test confirms paternity, the court will issue an order establishing paternity. 

  • Administrative order. If the mother receives public assistance, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare may seek to establish paternity through an administrative order. The alleged father will be required to take a DNA test. If the test confirms paternity, an order establishing paternity will be issued. 

It is important to note that establishing paternity can have legal and financial implications. It is important to speak with a skilled family law attorney if you have any questions or concerns about the process. 

Disputes Regarding Paternity in Idaho 

Disputes regarding paternity can be emotional and complex. The following parties can file a petition to establish paternity: 

  • The mother. The mother can petition to establish parentage to request financial support from the biological father. 

  • The alleged father. The alleged father can petition to establish parentage to assert his biological father’s rights and seek custody or visitation rights. 

  • The child. In some cases, if the child is old enough, they can file a petition to establish parentage to determine their legal rights to financial support and a relationship with their biological father.  

DNA Testing

If paternity is in dispute, DNA testing can be used to determine the biological father of the child. DNA testing is a highly accurate method of determining paternity. It involves comparing the DNA of the alleged father and child to determine if there is a biological match. 

DNA testing can be ordered by the court or agreed to by both parties. The testing can be done through a blood sample, cheek swab, or other non-invasive means. Once the results are available, they can be used to establish paternity and determine the legal rights and obligations of the biological father.

Paternity Attorney in Boise & Meridian, Idaho

No one should have to go through legal issues alone, especially issues involving your family. Reach out to Shep Law Group today to learn more about paternity and how we can help you move forward.