Establishing parentage is a very important step in the well being of your child. Establishing parentage means obtaining a court order or signing an official Declaration of Paternity that states who the legal parents of a child are. If a woman becomes pregnant and is not married, the child does not have a legal father until parentage is established. Even if the father can prove he is the biological father, if he was never married to the mother, than he does not have any rights or responsibilities for the child.

Establishing parentage is mandatory before anything, such custody, visitation, or child support will be court ordered. If the father will not admit to being the parent, the court can order the alleged father, mother and child to take a DNA test. Once parentage is determined the father will be responsible for paying child support, and will have to pay half of the uninsured health-care costs that result in the custodial parent getting or having a job or going to school