In Minnesota, if the parents are unmarried, there is a presumption that a mother has physical custody of a child. This presumption disappears after a court order is entered in a paternity or parentage action. Simply signing a recognition of Parentage will not establish your parental rights in Minnesota. That’s why it is very important to for unmarried fathers to take the legal steps to establish paternity and parental rights through a court order. If you aren’t sure if you’re the biological father, you can still bring a paternity action and request a genetic test as part of your pleadings.
If you want to ensure your rights as a father are protected, it’s important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. There are important timelines contained in Minnesota paternity laws. Once paternity is established in Minnesota, a father can ask the Court to address physical and legal custody, parenting time, tax dependency issues, and child support requirements.