How to Establish Paternity in Indiana?

If you are a citizen in Indiana and starting a new family, you may want to establish paternity in Indiana since is something important. The answer to this is because their laws are expensive and favors both the mother and the father equally, especially in the case of unmarried parents.

Indiana laws need the father to establish paternity. They state that the pair will get separated and then presented the papers. This is to avoid any undue influence, and they can review the declaration alone and understand the requirements. The affidavit includes parental rights, time, custody, as well as responsibilities.

They can establish the paternity later. But some ramifications need to be dealt with in case the paternity gets delayed.

Indiana paternity laws

When the child is born outside of marriage, the father will be provided the rights. As well as the legal responsibility in case they acknowledge the paternity. In the case of unmarried parents, there is a need for paternity to gets established.

But if the parents are married at the time of birth, they are not required to establish paternity. As per the law, the husband will be considered the father automatically.

Indiana’s laws around custody, child support, and visitation in the case of unmarried parents can get complicated for some. These cases get branded as paternity cases by the court.

It does not matter whether both parents verify that person A is the child’s father, or that a DNA test has been proved that A is the father. Even if the paternity is not contested, the court will consider them all as a paternity case.

The whole claim will be seen as a paternity issue. The cause number of the court case will have “JP” written on it in Indiana. JP stands for Juvenile Paternity. The law will see over the disputes between parents whose child is born before marriage. Thus, including custody, visitation rights, and child support.

There are quite a few differences in the laws of Indiana as compared to other states. But they are fair to both the parents.

How can I establish a paternity in Indiana?

Parent and son

In case the parents are married, the husband is considered the biological father of the child. If they are not married, the process is governed by the Indiana Paternity laws. These laws are mentioned in Indiana Code 31-14-1 et. seq which contains paternity actions.

Paternity establishment in Indiana can be done through the following methods:

  • Signing the birth certificate or the Affidavit: The father can sign the voluntary declaration of paternity within 72 hours of birth. The parties get separated to sign the documents.
  • Or, the father, the mother, the state agency, or the child can file a paternity case in the state court. It does not matter whether there is a conflict or not. The paternity has to be settled either way.

➡LEARN MORE: How to get a Court Ordered for Paternity Test without a Lawyer?

Importance of establishing paternity in Indiana

  • It is extremely important to authenticate paternity in Indiana comes to play when the couple is having a dispute, or are no longer together in a relationship. If the relationship is over, the fathers wish to know what their rights and responsibilities are. Under Indiana law, these issues are started to determine and resolve.

If the parents were married, and they are headed for a divorce or a dissolution, the same conflicts are addressed, and a decision is made. All issues of divorce and paternity are not the same, some are seen differently on the basis of the conditions, other cases are treated equally.

  • In Indiana, the significance of paternity establishment is the legal rights. The legal rights of the child include life insurance, social security, veteran’s advantages, and access to the inheritance.
  • Registration with Indiana’s Putative Father Registry is another important reason for the establishment of paternity. Considering the mother tries to put the child up for adoption, under this registry, the father will be provided notice of the news immediately. Following this, they can decide and act. 
  • The paternity establishment also ends any arguments about the minor child. Issues such as child support, visitation, and custody will be resolved under the Paternity law. The parents should have an informal agreement on the matter. Or they could be in a live-in relationship.

If it changes into an argument and the relationship ends, both parties can honor the informal agreement. Each can easily sort out any issues regarding the child/children. In case they do not, both parties would be left feeling helpless.

This would only isolate the child from its other parent and can have a major psychological impact on a child who needs a parental figure. 

  • Once the court has established the paternity, it will use orders for custody, child support, and visitation. The order would put an end to any questions and arguments.

Be it any issue parenting time, child support, and custody; if one party does not uphold the court’s decision, they can be charged with contempt of court. 

How long do I have to establish paternity in Indiana?

A paternity case in Indiana should be filed within 2 years after the child’s birth. There are certain terms and conditions under which the 2 years rule can be excluded. But otherwise, the paternity should be filed in the given time period. 

The laws in Indiana are fair to both mother and father. Still, you should seek out a lawyer for your circumstances. They can guide you about your case personally, and help resolve the conflict.

These can include any issue like increasing custodial rights, increasing/decreasing child support as well as reasoning with your current visitation permits. 

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