If you are the parent of a child born out of wedlock, there are two ways to establish paternity: you may either sign a paternity affidavit or you may file a court action for paternity.
A paternity affidavit is used when both parents agree that the alleged father is the biological father of the child. Both parents must sign the paternity affidavit. A paternity affidavit can also be signed at the local health department at any time before the child reaches the age of majority and is emancipated.
The signing of the paternity affidavit is a final determination that the man is the child’s father, unless the man asks a court for genetic testing within 60 days after the signing of the paternity affidavit. If genetic testing is not requested within 60 days after the signing of the paternity affidavit, genetic testing cannot be requested. Upon the signing of the paternity affidavit, the child’s birth certificate will show that the man is the child’s father.
The signing of the paternity affidavit establishes paternity, however, sole custody is automatically given to the mother and both parents have an obligation to support the child. Any other custody arrangement must be established with a court order. Any parenting time arrangement and the amount of child support to be paid must also be established with a court order. When a case is brought into court, the parents may either reach agreement as to the issue or present the issue to the court through litigation.
IV-D cases must be filed by the IV-D Prosecutor. If you receive a Summons, all parties should immediately and carefully view all local Lake County requirements at www.LakeCountyKids.org.
You should bring the following with you to court at a minimum: Last four paycheck stubs, past three years W-2 forms and tax returns, any childcare receipts, and private health insurance information that is available to you.
Below are the addresses of the local health departments in Lake County. If the paternity affidavit has not been signed at the hospital, parents of children born in Gary or East Chicago must go the health department in their respective cities. At present, parents of children born in Hammond should call the Lake County Health Department for instructions on where to obtain their paternity affidavits. Parents of children born in any other town or city in Lake County must go to the County Health Department in Crown Point.
The address and telephone numbers of the various health departments are as follows:
GARY EAST CHICAGO ALL OTHER CITIES/TOWNS
1145 W. 5th Avenue 1000 W. Chicago Avenue 2293 N. Main Street, Crown Point
219-882-5565 219-391-8467 219-755-3655
The address and telephone number of the IV-D Prosecutor is as follows:
Gary, IN 46402