What Is Used To Determine Assumption Of Maternity

Are you going through a family law case involving a child, and do you need to establish who are the parents of the child to move forward? While the mother of a child is always clear, the father of the child is not. That is why there are some standards used to determine the assumption of maternity when starting a child custody case, which is when no additional evidence is needed to prove maternity. Here are examples of the standards that could be used in your state.

The Child Was Born During A Marriage 

Any time that a child is born while a couple is married, it is assumed that the husband is the father of the child that the wife gave birth to. This is the standard used in most cases, and it is assumed that the couple was having a monogamous relationship during the marriage. If the husband feels like his wife was not monogamous and he is not the father, he would need to get additional evidence to prove this was true.

In addition, some states even include births that happen during a marriage that is found to be invalid. As long as the couple took the steps to get married and had a child afterward, it doesn't matter if the marriage is later found to be invalid and there is an annulment. The birth of a child during the presumed marriage would determine the assumption of maternity. 

The Child Was Born Immediately After The Divorce

There are also assumptions made based on when a child was born after a divorce, since it is assumed that the child was conceived during the marriage. Each state has its own laws regarding how many days after marriage are used to assume maternity, so make sure to be familiar with your local laws. For example, Texas uses 301 days after a marriage ends to assume maternity.

The Father Signs The Birth Certificate

For couples that get married after a child is born, the assumption of maternity can occur if the father signs the child's birth certificate. This means that the father wasn't listed on the birth certificate by the mother, but that the father voluntarily signed the birth certificate. 

The Father Cared For The Child

States also have laws based on the length of time that a father cared for a child and treated them as their own. Using Texas as an example again, they use a two-year period of caring for a child to assume maternity.