I am so sorry that you find yourself in this horrible situation. Unfortunately, under North Carolina law, you MAY not even legally be the father.
A married man is always presumed to be the father of his wife’s children. At almost any time, a mother
can accuse a man of fathering her child and potentially sue for child support
. The law does require “clear, cogent, and convincing evidence” to establish paternity, which is generally done through a blood or genetic marker test. So, if she was still married when the child was conceived and/or born, her husband is presumed to be the father.
Specifically, North Carolina Statute 130A-101 in applicable part states:
(e) If the mother was married at the time of either conception or birth, or between conception and birth, the name of the husband shall be entered on the certificate as the father of the child, except as provided in this subsection. The surname of the child shall be the same as that of the husband, except that upon agreement of the husband and mother, or upon agreement of the mother and father if paternity has been otherwise determined, any surname may be chosen. The name of the putative father
shall be entered on the certificate as the father of the child if one of the following conditions exists:
(1) Paternity has been otherwise determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, in which case the name of the father as determined by the court shall be entered.
(2) The child's mother, mother's husband, and putative father complete an affidavit acknowledging paternity that contains all of the following:
a. A sworn statement by the mother consenting to the assertion of paternity by the putative father and declaring that the putative father is the child's natural father.
b. A sworn statement by the putative father declaring that he believes he is the natural father of the child.
c. A sworn statement by the mother's husband consenting to the assertion of paternity by the putative father.
d. Information explaining in plain language the effect of signing the affidavit, including a statement of parental rights and responsibilities and an acknowledgment of the receipt of this information.
e. The social security numbers of the putative father, mother, and mother's husband.
f. The results of a DNA test that has confirmed the paternity of the putative father.
(f) If the mother was unmarried at all times from date of conception through date of birth, the name of the father shall not be entered on the certificate unless the child's mother and father complete an affidavit acknowledging paternity which contains the following:
(1) A sworn statement by the mother consenting to the assertion of paternity by the father and declaring that the father is the child's natural father and that the mother was unmarried at all times from the date of conception through the date of birth;
(2) A sworn statement by the father declaring that he believes he is the natural father of the child;
(3) Information explaining in plain language the effect of signing the affidavit, including a statement of parental rights and responsibilities and an acknowledgment of the receipt of this information; and
(4) The social security numbers of both parents.
The State Registrar, in consultation with the Child Support Enforcement Section of the Division of Social Services, shall develop and disseminate a form affidavit for use in compliance with this section, together with an information sheet that contains all the information required to be disclosed by subdivision (3) of this subsection.
Upon the execution of the affidavit, the declaring father shall be listed as the father on the birth certificate, subject to the declaring father's right to rescind under G.S. 110‑132. The executed affidavit shall be filed with the registrar along with the birth certificate. In the event paternity is properly placed at issue, a certified copy of the affidavit shall be admissible in any action to establish paternity. The surname of the child shall be determined by the mother, except if the father's name is XXXXX XXXXX the certificate, the mother and father shall agree upon the child's surname. If there is no agreement, the child's surname shall be the same as that of the mother.
The execution and filing of this affidavit with the registrar does not affect rights of inheritance unless the affidavit is also filed with the clerk of court in accordance with G.S. 29‑19(b)(2).
(g) Each parent shall provide his or her social security number to the person responsible for preparing and filing the certificate of birth.
Last modified: February 21, 2012
If you are not on the birth certificate or none of the above requirements of the statute above apply, you will need to bring an action in court to establish paternity. Once paternity is established, you will have to pay child support BUT you will be entitled to visitation with your daughter. Until you are established as the father, you have NO right to visitation.
It would be in your best interest to speak to an attorney in your area who specializes in family law. Sometimes, an initial consultation is free or at a minimal charge. You can discuss the specific facts of your case, evaluate your options and decide how to proceed.
Below is a link to the North Carolina Bar Association Attorney Referral Page:
I hope that you find this information useful.
My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. If you are satisfied with my answer, please rate it as "excellent" or in another positive manner. That is the only way that I can get credit for answering the question.
Thank you for your business!