How is paternity established?
A man is presumed to be the legal father if he and his wife are married at the time of the child’s birth, or the child is born not more than 300 days after their marriage ends.
If the mother of a child is not married at the time of the child’s birth, paternity can be established either by:
- executing a paternity affidavit (learn more about paternity affidavits by clicking: Paternity Affidavit) or
- by filing a paternity action in court. A paternity action is started by filing a Petition To Establish Paternity and is available below.
What if paternity has not be established for my child and I need help collecting child support?
Contact Indiana’s IV-D Child Support Program. You can learn more about the program by clicking on this link: Indiana’s IV-D Child Support Program
What if I think I may have fathered a child, but I am not sure and I do not want my child placed for adoption without my consent?
Indiana has a database of males that believe they may have fathered a child, and that the child may be placed for adoption. You can learn more about the database, including how to register, by clicking on this link: Putative Father Registry
What if paternity has been established, but my child’s birth record does not show that I am the father?
If you want to change your child’s birth record after paternity has been established you can fill out and file a form asking that the Department of Health change the birth record. Click on this link to find the form: Change Of Birth Record
After paternity is established, how much child support will have to be paid?
Usually, parenting time (the time the non-custodial parent spends with his or her child) and child support are established when paternity is established. You should prepare child support worksheets using Indiana’s Child Support Calculator and bring them with you when you go to court. Click on this link: Child Support Calculator.
After paternity is established, how much parenting time will I or the other parent have with the child?
Parenting time is often agreed to by the parents, but when parents do not agree many times the court will order parenting time based on the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines. You should read them by clicking on this link: Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines
Where can I find more information about paternity and the rights of my child?
The Indiana Department of Child Services offers helpful information. You can access their website by clicking on this link: Indiana Department of Child Services
Petition for Paternity
- Use this packet if paternity has not been established and you want paternity to be established.
- Read the instructions.
- Complete the forms. You can either fill them out online and print them. Or, you can print them and hand write your responses.
- Take the forms and the following information and fees to the courthouse located in your county:
- The father’s race, date and place of birth, and social security number,
- The mother’s race, date and place of birth, maiden name, and social security number,
- The child’s name at birth, date and place of birth, social security number, race and gender,
- Two stamped envelopes: one addressed to you and one addressed to the other parent,
- Filing and service fees,
- A Child Support Worksheet. Click Here
You can e-file these forms, but print them first. Then, scan them back into your computer. E-filing fillable forms causes errors in the e-filing system. You can find out more about e-filing here: E-file Indiana