As a father, you need to establish paternity of your child in order to have full parental rights in Ohio. There are a few different ways you can legally establish paternity. It depends on the situation. For example, the Ohio State Bar Association explains if you were married to the child’s mother when the child was born, then you are automatically the legal father of the child. However, if she was married to someone else, then he is the legal father, and you would have to use another method to claim your paternity rights.
Even if the mother put your name on the birth certificate, you are not the legal father if you are not married to her. You would have to sign the birth certificate yourself, along with the mother. This must be done under oath.
In most cases, the best thing to do to establish paternity is to get a DNA test. This will provide solid, undeniable evidence that you are the father of the child. It will stand up in court also. Do be aware that if you do not get DNA evidence and you sign papers acknowledging that you are the child’s father, you may remain financially responsible for the child even if a DNA test later shows you are not the father. So, it is always a good idea to get a DNA test before making a legal claim to paternity.
Establishing legal paternity makes your financially responsible for your child. It also gives you the right to pursue custody and visitation, along with requesting tax exemption rights. This information is for education and is not legal advice.