Determination and denial of paternity, recognition
When a child is born during a marriage or registered partnership, the married persons/registered partners automatically become the legal parents. Paternity may be denied by both the mother and the father, provided that the latter is not the biological father. If the denial is upheld, there will be consequences for the duty to support and for inheritance law. Retroactively speaking, the mother’s spouse has then never been the legal father.
When a child is born out of wedlock/a registered partnership, the mother will automatically be the legal parent. The biological father may become the legal father by acknowledging the child at the registry of births, deaths, marriages and registered partnerships with the consent/permission of the mother. As the life companion of the mother, who carried out an act resulting in the conception of the child, the co-mother may recognize the child with the consent of the mother and thus become a legal parent. Recognition can already take place before the child is born. If the mother does not cooperate, her permission may be replaced by a court decision.
If the biological father does not want to recognise the child, his paternity may be determined through legal proceedings at the request of the mother and at the request of the child. Establishing paternity cannot be done if a child already has two legal parents, if the mother and the man may not be married because they are brother and sister, or if the man is younger than sixteen. The mother needs to submit her application at the court within five years of the birth of the child, or if the identity of the presumable, natural father is unknown, within five years after the day that the identity and the place of residence have become known to the mother.
Being a legal parent includes a maintenance obligation for the child and there are inheritance law consequences. The child support to be paid by the legal father can be determined during the same proceedings as those to establish paternity. DNA tests are often required. In such cases, the court will appoint an expert, Sanguin, https://www.sanquin.nl, for instance, or Verilabs, https://www.verilabs.nl/.
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