Finding You Answers

Our attorneys at Morris, Downing & Sherred, LLP, have more than 100 years of experience handling complex family law and paternity issues for clients throughout the city of Newton, Sussex and Morris counties and the state of New Jersey. We understand that emotions run high when it comes to paternity matters, whether you are attempting to establish or challenge paternity. We provide aggressive, knowledgeable legal representation while helping you understand New Jersey's laws and processes as they relate to your claim.

Establishing Paternity

In the state of New Jersey, if a child is born to a married couple, the husband is presumed to be the legal father. When parents are not married at the time of birth, paternity must be established in order for the father to have those same rights and obligations.

If you are the mother, and the father fails to sign a certificate of parentage, you may need to rely on genetic testing to prove he is the biological father. Likewise, if you believe that you are the father of a child, you also need to use a genetic test that will be admissible in court. Our seasoned trial lawyers can help you through the process as you prove or claim legal paternity, which is necessary for:

  • Collecting child support
  • Obtaining health insurance benefits
  • Establishing a child's right to benefits in the event of the father's death, such as Social Security
  • Identifying any genetic health conditions from the father's side that may impact the child
  • Seeking visitation rights

Properly establishing paternity involves testing you and the other parent, as well as the child. Paternity is determined when genetic tests indicate a 95 percent chance or higher that the man is the child's biological father.

Contesting Paternity

If you believe that you are not the biological father of a child, you will need to produce clear and convincing genetic evidence to the court. Our lawyers can assist you in obtaining that proof and submitting the documentation needed to refute paternity, and thereby modify any related custody orders or child support obligations currently in place.

Helping Families Move Forward

Fill out our online contact form to learn more about how our firm can assist you and your family, or call 973-383-2700 or 800-394-2700 toll free.