Law Offices of Dennis J. Conry
245 Main Street 
Wareham, MA 02571
Call: 1-508-295-7540
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Establishing Paternity in Massachusetts 

When a married woman gives birth, her husband is presumed to be the father of the child. When a child is born outside of marriage, the father of the child does not automatically have the same rights and responsibilities as the father of a child born in marriage. 

The law allows the mother, child, or father to legally establish that a man is the father of a child. When this occurs, the child's paternity has been established. 

Why is it important to establish paternity?

A father may gain: 

  • Legal establishment of parental rights
  • Rights related to visitation, custody, and financial support of the child
  • Legal establishment that he is not the child's father 

A child may gain:

  • Financial support 
  • Social Security benefits
  • Veteran's benefits
  • Inheritance rights
  • Information about family medical history

A mother may gain:

  • Financial support for the child, including retroactive child support
  • Medical insurance coverage for the child, if available

How is a paternity established?

The paternity of a child can be established by the voluntary signing of an acknowledgment of paternity by both the mother and father or by a finding by the court, in response to a Complaint to Establish Paternity. 

If asked to establish paternity, the Court may order the parties to undergo genetic testing. This is simple, noninvasive medical procedure in which a medical professional swabs the inner lining of the cheek to obtain DNA for testing. 

To speak with an attorney for more information, contact our office to schedule a free consultation. We are open Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and are available evenings by appointment.

Law Offices of Dennis J. Conry ® 245 Main Street, Wareham, MA 02571

Attorney Dennis J. Conry serves clients throughout Southeastern Massachusetts, the South Shore and Cape Cod, including Barnstable, Bourne, Braintree, Bridgewater, Brockton, Buzzards Bay, Cataumet, Dartmouth, East Falmouth, Fall River, Falmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, Hyannis, Kingston, Mashpee, Marion, Mattapoisett, Middleboro,  New Bedford, Plymouth, Rochester, Sandwich, Swansea, Taunton,  
Quincy, Yarmouth, Wareham

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