Paternity can be established in three ways:
1 If you are married to the mother at the time your child is born, you are automatically considered the legal father. You do not have to establish paternity in court.
2 If you sign an acknowledgement of paternity (ak-NOWL-edj-ment of pa-TER-ni-tee) after your child is born, you have established paternity. The acknowledgement of paternity is a form that you sign, usually at the hospital, stating that you are the father.
3 If you file a petition (pe-TI-shun) for paternity in Family Court and get an order of filiation (OR-der of fil-ee-AY-shun) from a judge, you have established paternity.