In New Hampshire, an unmarried father is required to financially support his child. The obvious issue in paternity cases is proving who is the father in order to trigger that support obligation.

How Paternity is Proved

A mother seeking to prove a child’s paternity typically files a petition with the family or superior court. In the petition, the mother asks the court to issue an order which both establishes the paternity of the child and requires the father to pay child support.

The mother can also ask that blood, tissue typing and/or genetic marker tests be done. If the medical testing indicates there is a high probability that the alleged father is, in fact, the father, then a presumption of paternity arises and the court will issue a temporary child support order.

“Establishing paternity is an essential prerequisite to imposing a child support obligation.”

How Paternity is Disputed

However, the alleged father can still dispute his paternity by challenging how the test was performed, or offering certain other kinds of evidence.

How Paternity is Decided

The court ultimately decides the child’s paternity after reviewing all of the evidence. There is no right to a jury trial in paternity actions.