Should I Put My Name on the Birth Certificate?
Cleo and I went out for a month or so. The next thing I know, she says I am her baby’s father! Should I put my name on the birth certificate?
In New Jersey, the rule is clear and certain. Parents must support their children
from the day they are born until they are at least 18 years old. Therefore, the relevant question is “Am I the father?” The courts will usually allow you to have a test to determine paternity. BUT . . .
While the this list is not conclusive, you will be presumed to be the child’s biological father if:
- You and the child’s biological mother are or have been married to each other and the child is born during the marriage;
- After the child’s birth, you and the child’s biological mother have married, or attempted to marry, each other by a marriage solemnized in apparent compliance with law, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and:
- You have acknowledged his paternity of the child by signing the birth certificate;
- You attempt to have you name put on the birth certificate
- You openly hold out the child as your natural child; or
- You are obligated to support the child under a written voluntary agreement or court order;
- While the child is under the age of majority, you receive the child into your home and openly holds out the child as your natural child; or,
- While the child is under the eighteen, you provide support for the child and openly holds out the child as your natural child.
A presumption is exactly that! The presumption may be rebutted in court if you have clear and convincing evidence to present to the judge. The judge will look at the facts, the proofs each party produces to determine what makes sense and what is credible. If you prevail in court, you will get an Order which terminates the presumed father’s paternal rights or by establishing that another man is the child’s biological or adoptive father.
Before you sign, make sure you are the parent. Your failure to do so could require you to pay support for seventeen years!