The fact that a wife and the alleged father of her child live in different states will not keep the mother from pursuing a paternity establishment action. The state may be able to claim jurisdiction and establish paternity if the alleged father had lived there or the child was conceived in that state. Otherwise, a mother can ask the state can petition the another state to establish paternity under the laws of the state where the mother and child live. Often, genetic tests will be ordered to help prove paternity.

What If Paternity Is Established in Another State?

If paternity is established in another state, then the child support order can also be entered in your state.

What If My Child's Father Is on a Military Base Abroad?

A mother can apply for child enforcement services at a local office. If her child's father is willing to sign documents to acknowledge paternity and agree to support your child, then enforcement can proceed by a wage withholding order. If the father of your child is on a naval ship or lives on a military base abroad and will not acknowledge paternity, you may have to wait until he returns to the United States to have blood work done.

What If My Child's Father Purposely Leaves the State to Avoid a Paternity Judgment?

If an alleged father fails to respond to a formal complaint properly served upon him, a default judgment can be entered against him that establishes he is the father. At the same time, a court order for child support may be issued. If the parent has disappeared, state and federal Parent Locator Services can be called on to help find him. States must give full faith and credit to paternity determinations made by other states in accordance with their laws and regulations.

Do I Need a Family Law Attorney?

Paternity and child support is often one of the most bitterly fought issues in the courtroom. A good family attorney will protect your rights and help deal with this very troublesome issue. An experienced attorney will be able to help you establish the paternity of the father of your child, even if he is out of state.