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Call us at: (505) 881-2566
2727 San Pedro NE • Suite 114 • Albuquerque, NM 87110

FAQs – Paternity Cases

Establishing paternity is very important to a child or children. It provides many emotional benefits for the child or children and legally entitles the children to the same rights as those of a child whose parents are married.
Father with Son on Back

What is Paternity?

Paternity is the legal status of fatherhood. In New Mexico, this means that a court or government agency has determined which individual is biologically the child’s father, often through paternity (DNA) testing. It can also be established voluntarily by the parents when they sign an affidavit and file it with the Department of Health. A paternity case involves minor children when the parents are not in a legally recognized marriage.

How Can I Establish Paternity in New Mexico?

You can establish paternity in a few ways in New Mexico. If your child was born during a marriage or within 300 days following divorce or widowhood, the child will be presumed to be that of the husband. If the child is conceived outside of marriage, paternity will need to be established either voluntarily or through court order.  If the parents are not married, they can choose to voluntarily acknowledge paternity by Affidavit (called an “Acknowledgement of Paternity”) that says they agree they are each the parents of the child in question. This affidavit is filed with the Department of Health and the father’s name is added to the child’s birth certificate.  Parents are able to get paternity testing before signing if they are unsure of the parentage.  Either party can also file a Petition to Establish Paternity in the State District Court.  A court order establishing paternity will be issued after the court has determined paternity.  Finally, a biological father can file a paper with the “Putative Father Registry” if he had sex with a woman and believes she may have conceived a child.

What happens if I’m not sure who the father is? 

If you are unable to agree on who the father of the child is, you can file a paternity case in court. As the mother, if you are uncertain who the father may be between two or more persons, or if the alleged father denies paternity, the court may require all parties including the child, to submit to paternity testing.

What can I do if my ex-girlfriend denies me access to my child?

Fathers as well as mothers can file a paternity case.  If DNA testing confirms you are the biological father, then the judge can decide custody and visitation, and set child support.

Why should I establish paternity?

Not only does a child benefit from knowing and developing an emotional bond with both parents, it also helps the child succeed and find security in knowing their parents. Once paternity is established, the child has the right to inherit upon the father’s death, and the mother can receive child support to help in raising the child. As the established father, you will have rights and responsibilities towards the child including the option for child custody or visitation rights.

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I appreciate everything Mary Ann and her team have done for my children, and myself, which entailed so much. Everyone’s support was wonderful, and so needed, during such a brutal, emotional, and heartbreaking time.   M.F.
2017-03-31T16:04:38+00:00
I appreciate everything Mary Ann and her team have done for my children, and myself, which entailed so much. Everyone’s support was wonderful, and so needed, during such a brutal, emotional, and heartbreaking time.   M.F.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your representation. I can’t tell you how confident and comfortable I felt having you represent me and the peace of mind that brought was worth more than I could...
2017-03-31T16:22:11+00:00
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your representation. I can’t tell you how confident and comfortable I felt having you represent me and the peace of mind that brought was worth more than I could have imagined.  I never once felt that you were working without my best interests in mind and contrary to my ex-husband’s experience, the expenses incurred were reasonable and fair, and I believe you were diligent about not incurring additional costs unless they were absolutely necessary.   A.N.

The day I walked into your office I did not believe that my life would take such a toil on my life, the fact and promise you made that you would never leave my side at any point even when...
2017-04-03T10:55:47+00:00
The day I walked into your office I did not believe that my life would take such a toil on my life, the fact and promise you made that you would never leave my side at any point even when I just couldn’t find the strength to open emails because it was so painful to read has defined a new beginning for me.  I am back in NM and I will never look back thinking that he got the best of me, because you kept your promise to me and because I am doing it; I am living life again!D.A. D.A.

Going through a divorce is an agonizing process, the emotional distress was overwhelming at times and the financial implications only exacerbated my anxiety. On top of that I had to hire a lawyer and hope that they would be professional,...
2017-04-03T10:56:15+00:00
Going through a divorce is an agonizing process, the emotional distress was overwhelming at times and the financial implications only exacerbated my anxiety. On top of that I had to hire a lawyer and hope that they would be professional, reliable and honest. I found that at NM Divorce & Custody and can’t express how fortunate I felt to have had Mary Ann Burmester’s representation in what I thought was going to be a quick divorce. Mary Ann is sharp, knowledgeable and honest. She gave me recommendations that I felt comfortable in taking and I never felt her representation didn’t have my best interests in mind. Mary Ann was an excellent advocate when my husband’s lawyer was requesting things from me that were completely unnecessary and had no purpose other than escalating expenses. She and her team were on top of things from day one, leaving me no doubt I’d made the right choice. I’d recommend them to absolutely anyone. A.B.

I want to give NM Custody & Divorce LLC a HUGE THANK YOU, for your professionalism, but most of all your patience and kindness. My experience with your firm was amazing start to finish, in such a difficult time in...
2017-04-03T10:56:42+00:00
I want to give NM Custody & Divorce LLC a HUGE THANK YOU, for your professionalism, but most of all your patience and kindness. My experience with your firm was amazing start to finish, in such a difficult time in my life, your team made me feel supported not just legally but with your concern. Ms. Burmester is an amazing women and attorney her and your firm have my highest recommendation!!   C.S.