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Establishing paternity in Virginia


Becoming a father is a major life responsibility and can cause a flood of emotions. Florida paternity is just as important for a child as well because it gives them an identity, establishes a health history and increases their self esteem. Paternity also establishes a permanent legal bond between the child and the father and can even provide important legal benefits, including child support. Establishing paternity in Virginia is not complicated and can be done in several ways.

One of the easiest ways to establish paternity is at the hospital. While there, both parents can sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity Form under oath with the hospital's Birth Registrar. There is no charge for this service and it is available at all birthing hospitals. The father must present a photo ID before signing the form. Signing the form at the hospital establishes paternity immediately and means that the father's name will appear on the child's original birth certificate. The father can also sign the form by visiting the Office of Vital Statistics which is located in Richmond. He can also contact any local social services department or child support office in the state as well.

Genetic testing can also be used to establish paternity in Virginia. This can be done voluntarily or by a court order if necessary. The process is very simple and usually involves swabbing the inside of a person's cheek. If the case if being investigated by the Division of Child Support Enforcement, the department can arrange for the person suspected of being the father to stop in at a local office to take the test.

According to Virginia law, a test result of 98 percent or higher establishes the person in question as the father. Nonetheless, any Virginia resident who is been requested to take a paternity test as part of a child custody dispute may want to speak with a child support attorney in order to find out what all of the ramifications of this test are.

Source: DSS.Virginia.gov, "Facts about establishing paternity," accessed on Nov. 30, 2015

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