Question asked on Feb. 12, 2021
Q: My sons baby was born in Hawaii in September 2020. My son and the mother were not together during her pregnancy or at time of birth. She had met someone else and refers to him as the father even though my son is the biological. They recently moved to Texas. What would the next step be in determining paternity and getting a visitation agreement/child support? Which state do we need to go through?
A: Presumably, your son is in Hawaii. A paternity case can generally be filed wherever the child was conceived (state laws vary) or where the child now lives. If those facts are correct, then paternity could be established in either Hawaii or Texas. Child custody/support/visitation could probably proceed in Texas. If I understand your facts correctly, however, less than six months have passed since mother and child left Hawaii — if that is true, and father remained, he can file a custody (and probably support) action in Hawaii — as long as he does so quickly, under the UCCJEA. You should probably start by inquiry with a family law specialist in both of those States, soon, ensuring that the timeline and facts are clearly set out, to verify that the assumptions here are correct, and if so where they recommend filing which actions.