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Spokane Paternity Lawyer in Washington

If you need to establish parentage or contest a child's paternity, Hodgson Law Office and our team of experienced paternity attorneys can help. Our staff assists with establishing custody rights, taking court action for DNA testing, and more.
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Washington Family Law Attorneys Can Help Establish Paternity

Establishing paternity of a child is critical for both the father and the child. When the identity of the biological father is in question, issues with child custody, financial support, Social Security, and a variety of other factors concerning the minor child arise.
At HLO, we can help you navigate the changing circumstances of a domestic relationship by verifying the identity of the child's father. We also assist with divorce cases and child support issues.
Dealing With Paternity Issues

Grounds for Challenging Paternity in Washington State

Under Washington law, you cannot file a suit to challenge a child's paternity for the purpose of harassing the other party. Instead, you must have a legitimate reason to challenge a child's paternity. Legitimate reasons include:
  • Infidelity: As a male in an opposite-sex marriage or relationship, you can challenge paternity if your spouse is unfaithful during the time of conception.
  • Sterility: If you are sterile and cannot be the biological father, you may also challenge paternity.
  • Invalid Lab Results: If you believe the paternity test was inaccurate, you can contest the results.
If a child is conceived during marriage, the husband is the presumed parent. However, you can contest this legal presumption when infidelity is suspected. That said, you must present the court with some evidence that the other parent was indeed unfaithful during the time of the child's conception.

What Are the Benefits of Establishing Paternity (Parentage)?

The benefits of establishing paternity will vary based on whether you are the primary custodial parent or not. If you are the mother and have full child custody, establishing paternity in the court will help you achieve the appropriate amount of child support.
As a father, a paternity acknowledgment means you can seek visitation or shared child custody on the parenting plan. You can petition the court to enact a fair parenting plan based on the unique circumstances of the case.
We represent both parents in family law cases. Whether you are the mother of a child who needs a paternity affidavit for child support purposes or a male who has been falsely named as a child's father, our team can help.

Schedule a Consultation with a Spokane Paternity Lawyer

If you need help establishing paternity of a child, contact our team today and book a free consultation!
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How to Establish Paternity in Washington State

There are three main ways that parents can establish paternity in Washington State. They are as follows:


The court presumes that the male half of an opposite-sex marriage is the father unless there is evidence that calls the paternity into question. For instance, if the mother was unfaithful during the marriage, the husband could contest whether he is the father.


If the parents agree on who the father is at the time of birth and are unmarried, they can fill out a paternity acknowledgment form. However, if the parents are unmarried and one party contests paternity, then the identity of the father would have to be verified.

Parentage Action

If there is any doubt about paternity, law firms will likely need to get involved and obtain a court order for a paternity test. This test verifies the DNA of the child and compares it to the presumed father.
Legal Assumptions

What Happens After Paternity Is Established?

What happens after paternity is established will vary based on several factors, including the outcome of the test and the nature of your relationship with the mother.
If the test reveals that you are not the child's biological father, you can have yourself removed from their birth certificate and petition the court to remove any support requirements. If you are currently married, negative test results could also support your divorce proceedings and help you obtain favorable terms.
If you are the father, you now have custody rights and are able to remain a part of the child's life. In the event that you and the mother are separated, you may also have to provide monetary support. If the mother is restricting access to your child, you may have to seek legal action, such as a court-ordered parenting plan.
Either way, settling paternity questions allows you to move forward with your life. You can begin building a relationship with your child. On the other hand, if you are not the father, you can remove yourself from unhealthy circumstances.

How Long Does a Father Have to Establish Paternity in Washington?

There is no statute of limitations on paternity cases in Washington State. This means that the child, mother, or father can file a petition to establish paternity at any time. However, it is best to address paternity questions as early as possible so you and the child can move on with your lives in the healthiest way possible.

Reach Out to Hodgson Law Office to Establish Paternity

Contact our legal team for assistance with establishing paternity and child custody in the state of Washington.
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Schedule A Free Consultation With Mark D. Hodgson

As an experienced Spokane attorney, I will protect your rights and guide you through your case. You do not have to go through this alone, I will help you every step of the way.
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why us

Why Choose Our Washington Paternity Attorneys?

The team at Hodgson Law Office is highly experienced at establishing paternity through the use of a court order for DNA testing, examination of a child's birth certificate, and other strategic legal action. When you work with our team, you'll benefit from our:
  • Commitment to act in the best interests of the child
  • Knowledge of your legal rights
  • Experience
  • When the paternity of a child is called into question, HLO helps make things right!

Reviews from Our Clients

I hired Mark Hodgson for a divorce in Spokane. He was open, friendly, and gave me great advice and counsel. Mark was honest with me about my case and worked hard to resolve all of my issues quickly. He responded to my phone calls and questions every time. He was WONDERFUL in my hearing and got me alimony, child support, and the parenting plan that my children needed. I had two other lawyers before Mark and he is far superior to my previous counsel. He fought hard for me and he knew the law. I would and will recommend him to everyone that i know.
These situations are never easy. Deciding to get a lawyer then choosing one was a very hard decision. I spoke to a few people that have been thru divorce and Mark’s name came up more than once. I went and met with him, his business partners and Casey his assistant. They were all friendly, professional and most importantly for me nonjudgmental. He is very educated on divorce with children and keeps in mind what is best for the kids! He answered my questions and didn’t make me feel belittled as other lawyers did. Thank you Mark Hodgson and team you are all very appreciated!
Called Mark Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving. He got us in that Friday the day after Thanksgiving. We decided to hire him and he made the time to start the process of paperwork that Sunday. It was great he did this so my wife and I didn’t have to miss work and our case was a time sensitive issue. The few times I’ve had to emailed him he seem to get right back to us with answers.
our team

Meet Our Attorneys

We are a dedicated team of family law and divorce attorneys driven by a passion for empowering clients. With personalized representation, we prioritize your goals and safeguard the well-being of you and your children. Meet our compassionate advocates below.

Mark D. Hodgson

I am committed to helping my clients through one of the most difficult times in their lives....
Mark D. Hodgson

Areas We Serve

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  • Do I need to take a DNA test?

    Not necessarily. If both parents will complete a paternity acknowledgment, a DNA test is unnecessary. But if the paternity of a child is in doubt, a DNA test is the best solution.

  • Can a mother refuse to put a father on a birth certificate in Washington state?

    Yes, a mother can refuse to put a father on a birth certificate in Washington State, especially if there are legitimate questions regarding who the biological father is. You'll need a court order to amend the birth certificate if your name has been left off.

  • What rights do fathers have in Washington state?

    Fathers have many of the same rights as mothers in Washington State, including the right to access their child and the right to be notified of any court hearings. For a breakdown of your rights, connect with our team.