Maryland law presumes that the husband of the mother is the child’s father because the mother is married at the time of the child’s conception or birth. Problems can arise, however, when the mother is married and someone claims paternity of her child and that person is not her husband.
Although the situation between the parties can be stressful and complicated, the process of establishing paternity is relatively simple.
Whether you are a woman who is married and someone claims paternity, or you are the biological father of a married woman’s child, the establishment of paternity is an important part of both preserving parental rights and ensuring that the right person is providing financial support to the child.
If You Are Married and Someone Claims Paternity Outside the Marriage in Maryland
When a Maryland woman is married and someone claims paternity outside of her marriage, the third-party paternity must be established through the court for several reasons. First, establishing paternity gives the father full parental rights, including the rights to custody and visitation. Second, once paternity is established the father may then takes on financial responsibility for the child in the form of child support. Third, establishing paternity allows for the biological father and the child to foster a relationship.
Generally, Maryland law allows paternity to be established by two methods: either through the filing of an Affidavit of Parentage form or through a court order. However, an Affidavit of Parentage form may not be used if the mother is married at the time of conception or birth. The biological parents must prove the paternity—usually through genetic testing—and officially claim the child through the Maryland court system. If the issue of paternity is contested and cannot be resolved through genetic testing, a judicial proceeding may be scheduled to decide paternity. During such judicial proceeding the court may consider the best interest of the child.
Whether you are married and someone claims paternity, or you are the father of a married woman’s child, it is important to officially establish paternity both for the sake of the parents and the child. A father cannot assert his rights to custody and visitation without establishing that he is the biological father. Likewise, the mother and child cannot enforce their right to financial support until paternity is established.
Experienced Attorneys for Families in Montgomery County, Maryland and Prince George’s County, Maryland
If you are married and someone claims paternity of your child or you need to establish your parental rights to a married woman’s child, the experienced family law team at The Law Office of LaSheena M. Williams, LLC can help. We understand the delicate nature of these situations and will handle your case with compassion, competence, and discretion.
Our firm passionately represents clients throughout Rockville, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Chevy Chase, College Park, Cheverly, Greenbelt, Oxon Hill, Hyattsville, Upper Marlboro, Largo, Bowie, and surrounding communities. Call us today at (301)778-9950 or send us an online request for a consultation.