The Aspects to Establishing Paternity

Posted by Joseph Franks on March 6th, 2020

A child, his/her mother, an alleged father, the state, or any other person/entity with standing (legal justification) may file a petition for verifying paternity. Paternity claims or complaints usually arise in courtly matters of child custody and support. Proving paternity refers to demonstrating that a man in question is the biological father of the child. The legal investigation and its outcome determine the rights and responsibilities of the contested father. Paternity law may vary from state to state, but the following information resonates with the majority of jurisdictions:

Paternity for Married Couples

When a child is born in the home of a married couple, presumption is that the husband and wife are the real parents. The signatures on the birth certificate are sufficient to prove parentage, unless solid evidence suggests otherwise. In the spur of an unusual situation, the mother may reveal that her husband is not the actual father. If she identifies someone else as the real father, the motioned person may have to appear in court and agree to a paternity test. On the contrary, the husband may suspect the child’s physical attributes at the time of birth or much later. If the man believes that he has no genetic association with the child, he must undergo a DNA test to officially terminate the relationship.

Paternity for Un-Married Couples

Establishing paternity among unmarried couples is more complicated, and usually subject to a prolonged legal process. Florida Family Law Attorneyclaims that the case gets tricky if the supposed parents were never involved in a long-term relationship. Occasionally, a father has never met or heard of the child until he receives a legal notice several years after the child’s birth. If two un-wedded partners mutually agree on being parents to the child, the father shall start with filling out the legal paternity form; next, he shall sign and submit ‘Acknowledgement of the Paternity form’. This way he is accepting responsibility of the child on his own free will; subsequently, his name will be added to the child’s birth certificate.

If the mother and suspected father are in conflict, the matter is to be sorted out in court. In most cases, the mother files a lawsuit against the man she deems is the biological father. If the accused wishes to prove otherwise, he shall submit to a DNA test. If the test comes in positive, the man is obliged to fulfill all parental liabilities. This confirmed child is likely to influence matters of inheritance, as he/she becomes a legal heir.                                                      

Third-Party Paternity Suits

A third person may claim to be a child’s father, who is already under care of a husband and wife. This person requires logical ground and supporting evidence to build the case. If a relationship between the mother and the filer cannot be authenticated, the petition is denied. An unmarried couple having doubts about the paternity have the option to file a joint lawsuit as well. Government agencies looking into child neglect or abuse may also request a paternity suit for purpose of guardianship or child support.

Wrapping Up

Previously, a paternity lawsuit could not be filed until after the child was born. Today, technology has reached its peak and prenatal DNA tests are allowed, as long as the father is living. If you are struggling with establishing paternity, you must consult an experienced paternity lawyer to guide you through.

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Joseph Franks

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Joseph Franks
Joined: September 16th, 2019
Articles Posted: 101

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