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How paternity affects divorce

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | DIVORCE - Divorce |

Establishing paternity is an important part of the divorce process in Alaska if a couple has minor children. Paternity will determine who is responsible financially for the children and can also factor into the child custody order. Once paternity has been legally established, the couple can move forward with the divorce and determine the best co-parenting arrangement for their children.

Establishing paternity

When a child is born to a married mother, it’s legally assumed that her husband is the father. This is true even if he is not the biological father. When a child is born to a mother who is not married, the parents can acknowledge paternity by signing a form that will result in the father being listed officially on the birth certificate. This is generally completed at the hospital shortly after birth. It can also be done later.

If the parents are not married and the father is not listed on the birth certificate, DNA testing can be done to establish paternity. In cases where one party refuses DNA testing, the court may order it to be done before paternity is established. Once paternity has been legally established, parents can work out a custody schedule and determine child support matters.

Advice for parents who are separating or divorcing

Going through a separation or divorce when one has minor children can come with additional challenges. Establishing paternity is the first step in having a custody order put into place and deciding the co-parenting schedule. Alaska parents who are preparing to separate or divorce the other parent of their children can benefit from working with an attorney who is familiar with the relevant laws.