Paternity arises in many situations by law. Sometimes that is not the case or it is necessary to change the paternity.

Denial paternity

A child that is born during the marriage of a man and a woman, automatically has the woman’s husband as his legal father, even if that is not the case at all. If it turns out that the husband of the woman is not the natural father a lawyer can request the court to uphold the denial of paternity. The result of this denial is that the husband has never been the father of this child, in other words, from birth the husband is not the father of the child. Both the mother, the father and the child can submit a request for denial. However, time limits apply to this request.


Recognition of a child may take place before or after birth and is subject to certain conditions. In practice, recognition is the most common among unmarried couples. The biological father (or in some cases the “co-mother”) who is not married to the mother of the child is recognized as a legal parent, along with the mother. If the mother does not give permission for recognition, the biological father can request the court for substitute permission. The judge will weigh the interests of all involved. To submit such a request a lawyer is needed. The prospective recognized party does not always have to be the biological parent. This can also be a third party. Under certain circumstances recognition can be rescinded later.

Note:  recognition does not automatically imply custody!

Judicial determination of paternity

If the biological father does not want to acknowledge his child, he can be forced to do so by the court at the request of for example, the child or the mother to establish paternity. GMW advocaten can submit this request on your behalf. This request can even be made after the death of the biological father. Time limits apply to the filing of a request for judicial determination by the mother. These time limits do not apply if the child submits the request. As a result of the judicial determination of paternity, the father becomes the legal parent of the child, just like the man who has married the mother and the father who is not married to the mother but has acknowledged the child.