Under the “Presumption of Legitimacy” a wife’s child, born during a marriage, is the husband’s child, and is assigned to all rights, duties and responsibilities of that child. Through a decree of divorce, annulment or legal separation, the “Presumption of Legitimacy” can be rebutted by evidence through a formal court ruling.
The jurisdiction of the judgment of establishing paternity is based on the “Presumption of Legitimacy” that can be set aside if the husband is not the actual father. Through paternity, in the case that the mother is not married, the actual father can accept the paternity of his child. The mother may petition the court for a resolution of the custody of the child and is determined by estoppels over time.
Putative fathers, are supposed fathers of the child and thus the paternity of the child is in question. In this case, a party may ask the court to determine the paternity of the putative fathers through sworn statements and then upon testimony of evidence. Once a father has been established paternity, he is granted paternal rights including support responsibility, and visitation rights.