If the parents were never married and have a child in common, legally the child does not have a father. If the parents end the relationship and want to seek custody and support, paternity of the child must first be established, either through an Acknowledgement of Paternity or an Order of Filiation.

An Acknowledgement of Paternity can be signed voluntarily, or a paternity petition may be filed in Family Court to identify paternity through a GMT (genetic marker) test. A new birth certificate for the child will be issued with the father’s name on it. Once paternity is established, custody and child support may be ordered or agreed upon.