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Establishing paternity is governed under UPA section 201(b), 204. This statute provides presumptions of paternity, which may only be rebutted by DNA results introduced at a paternity proceeding. A man is presumed to be the father if he and the child’s mother:

  • are or had been married when the child was conceived or born within 300 days of the divorce;
  • married after the child was born and the man voluntarily asserted his paternity by signing the birth certificate;
  • for the first two years of the child’s life resided in the same household and the man openly held the child out as his own.

An unmarried father has no more than two years to establish his paternity, typically by a DNA test, when the child already has a presumed father. The courts deem a two- year period sufficient to resolve the issue without subjecting the child to a long period of possible unsettled circumstances.

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