How to Establish Paternity

Paternity issues are governed in New Mexico by the Uniform Parentage Act. Paternity means fatherhood. Establishing paternity gives your child a legal father. This is important because it establishes rights to inheritance, custody and child support. Obviously paternity can be established by having a presumed father take a paternity test and matching the DNA of the child and the father. However, there are other legal ways to establish paternity. For example, paternity is presumed if a child is born while a man and woman are married.

One can see how this can cause some legal confusion. If a child is born to a woman who had an affair the child is presumed to be the child of the husband. Of course, this presumption can be overcome with DNA testing. Some other ways in which paternity can be legally presumed is if the father is on the birth certificate, acknowledges paternity with the state or holds oneself out as being the father. Ultimately, however, it’s imperative to obtain a court order that establishes paternity for all those involved, especially the child.

In this day and age where we have more awareness of unique family dynamics and growing technological advances, establishing paternity should be taken seriously and is something that every child is entitled to know. For more information on establishing paternity contact our paternity experts at or call us at 505-880-8737.