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What is Proof of Paternity?

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Question: What is Proof of Paternity?
Regarding paternity, what documents do I need to bring with me when I file for child support?
Answer:

That depends on whether you were married at the time your child was conceived.

  1. If you were married, you'll want to bring your marriage license and (if applicable) any documents pertaining to a legal separation or divorce. In this case, in most states, it is assumed that your spouse fathered your child. This is also known as the presumption of paternity.

  2. If you were not married at the time your child was conceived, or if you were never married, you'll want to bring a Declaration of Paternity (also known as an Acknowledgment of Paternity form) or an affidavit of paternity with you to the appointment.1

    If this is not possible, the Office of Child Support Enforcement will take steps to establish paternity for you as the first step in establishing a child support order.

1 See a copy of an affidavit of paternity form used by the Office of Child Support Enforcement.

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