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How can military parents establish paternity?

Establishing paternity has a lot of benefits for the mother, the child and the biological father. In addition to establishing a foundation for a continued relationship between the father and his biological child, establishing paternity also causes the father to have legal and financial obligations for his child.

In some cases, the father might petition the court to establish paternity on the grounds that the mother has been denying his paternity in an effort to alienate the father from his biological child. In these types of cases, establishing paternity can be very important.

However, there may be some logistical problems where the mother and the father do not live close to each other or do not have immediate access to a child support enforcement agency. The case will become even more complicated if one or both of the parents is in the military.

Establishing paternity, including acknowledging the paternity of the biological father, who might be married or in a long-term relationship with the mother, can also be complicated in a case where the father is on active duty during the child’s birth. The right approach in this type of situation is very important since speeding up the process is beneficial for everyone involved.

Typically, most family law matters involving military personnel are similar to that of their civilian counterparts. However, if the mother is in the military, she can contact a local child support enforcement agency in order to establish the child’s paternity. The mother also has the legal right to use a salary withholding order to get the father to submit to paternity testing. In the event that the challenging father is in the military and on active deployment, and he denies that he is the biological father of the child and is stationed outside of the U.S., the mother may want to wait until he returns to do genetic testing in order to establish paternity.

Source:, “”Establishing fatherhood: paternity,” Accessed on July 16, 2015

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