How To Establish Paternity in Massachusetts


Contrary to popular belief, in Massachusetts, paternity is not established when a child is born unless both biological parents are presently married and the appropriate paperwork is signed.  If both biological parents are not married, then paternity must be established.


When a child has a legal father, the child obtains certain rights and benefits.  Here are some reasons why it is important to establish legal fatherhood for your child.

·         The child receives an identity.  The child has a sense of paternal identity when there is no denial of paternity.  It is important for a child to identify with both biological parents’ side of the family.
·         Finances.  Children that are financially supported by both biological parents are typically having their needs met, as opposed to a children that only has one biological parent.  When paternity is established, this creates a legal commitment to the child that the father will financially support the child.
·         Continuity of health.  If the child has a legal establishment of who the father is, the child can obtain knowledge of family medical history.  This could be lifesaving.  Further, when paternity is established, the child can be placed under the parent’s (or parents’) health insurance policy.
·         Inheritance.  If the father were to be deceased, having established paternity also allows the possibility of the child to acquire inheritance, including Social Security and other forms of financial inheritance.


If you are ready to establish paternity, you may need the following information of the biological father:
·         Full legal name
·         Social Security Number
·         Date of Birth / Place of Birth
·         Addresses / Phone Numbers


If the child’s biological father is not your husband, then you need to complete an Affidavit of Non-Paternity.  This is the case if the mother was already married, married after conception, or married at the time the child was born.

For more information in a non-married paternity establishment, please download this PDF.

Having a child is typically an exciting time in one’s life.  If you are struggling to identify the father and need a paternity test, or cannot locate the biological father, or if you need to seek counsel with a family law attorney, please contact Fernandez, Socci & Nieves Family Law.

About the Firm

Fernandez, Socci & Nieves Family Law, based in North Andover, Massachusetts, not only serves North Andover, MA, but also Andover, MA, Methuen, MA, Boxford, MA, and West Boxford, MA and surrounding areas, including Southern New Hampshire.  The law firm has consistently been recognized as a “Best Law Firm” from in US. News & World Report .  If you are considering divorce, or have other family law-related concerns such as child custody, mediation / arbitration, modifications, pre-nuptial / post-nuptial, or paternity matters, consider contacting Fernandez, Socci & Nieves Family Law.

For more information and to discuss your situation with an experienced family law / divorce attorney in North Andover, MA, please visit our website. To learn more about the U.S. News & World Report of Fernandez, Socci & Nieves Family Law, click here .

For a family law and divorce consultation serving Andover, MA, 
contact us at Fernandez, Socci & Nieves Family Law

(978) 681-5454

In accordance with rules established by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this web site and/or web page must be labeled "advertising." It is designed to provide general information for clients and friends of the firm and should not be construed as legal advice, or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. This web site and/or web page is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


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