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Do you need to prove paternity to get visitation?

Your ex-girlfriend called you suddenly a few nights ago and gave you news you didn’t expect to hear; she was eight-months pregnant and was going to be induced in just a few weeks. You were happy for her, but she then suggested that the child was yours.

You were surprised because you hadn’t heard from her in months. You are a little wary because you don’t know why it took so long for her to reach out if she knew she was pregnant for so long. Regardless, if this is your child, you do want to get visitation and custody rights. If not, you want to know as soon as possible.

Skipping forward to the birth, you feel like there is no way this child isn’t yours. He has your hair and similar features. You and your ex-partner get along, and you have no animosity about taking on custody. Should you make the effort to prove paternity? Is it necessary to get custody or visitation rights?

Technically speaking, you can acknowledge paternity without a DNA test. However, it is smart for you to ask for a DNA test if there is any question that a child may not be yours. A DNA test is noninvasive and painless. In just a few days, and sometimes in a few hours, you can know if you’re the legitimate, biological parent of the child. While you may take on parentage without a test, it is generally in your best interests to be certain that a child is yours before taking on the responsibility of raising them. Our site has more information if you are interested in getting a DNA test.