Generally, both mother and father have four years from the date of birth of a child to bring a paternity action to establish the legal father of said child. If the child is receiving state benefits (Medicaid, food stamps, etc.), the State is not limited by the four years and may bring an action for child support after that time has passed. The establishment of paternity sets forth the legal relationship for fathers who have children with mothers to whom they are not married. Paternity cases can establish child support, parenting time, and even custody.