Formal Paternity Proceedings

In most states, a paternity action takes the form of a civil lawsuit, and is clearly not a criminal matter. Importantly, in most instances, paternity actions must be filed prior to the alleged father’s death, to provide for a fair and just defense. In posthumous actions, the alleged father must have affirmatively done something to acknowledge the child prior to death (e.g., putting his name on the child’s birth certificate or identifying himself as the father in some other legal or formal action).


Inside Formal Paternity Proceedings