Paternity law is a part of family law responsible for dealing with a legal relationship between a father and his biological or adopted child/children to establish things such as child custody, inheritance and visitation rights, and obligations for child support. Paternity laws vary state by state, and they are often complicated. Sometimes the mother or father may fail to participate in the paternity test, and consequences may follow.
Failure To Participate in Paternity Tests
Many times, paternity is contested by the putative or alleged father of a child. If the man contesting paternity is indeed the presumed father of the child/children, the presumption of paternity must be rebutted. If a presumed father would like to clear himself of any legal obligations to that child, they will need to undergo paternity DNA testing.
An alleged father may refuse to submit to a paternity test, however, if the test if court-ordered, the alleged father may be held in contempt of court until he does submit to the requested paternity testing. Additionally, the court can impose criminal sanctions against the alleged father for his refusal to abide by a court-order and he may also face fines. In some instances, the court may make a judgment against the alleged father and hold him liable to pay child support even without the actual proof of having any connection to the child/children.
Contesting a Paternity Test/Suit
The most common person to contest a paternity test is a putative or alleged father who believes they are not the biological father of the child. Normally, alleged or putative fathers contest paternity tests following a paternity suit which is commonly filed by the biological mother of the child.
Additionally, paternity suits may also be brought by another man who alleges himself to be the biological father. In many states, paternity suits must be filed within a certain period of time following the birth of a child. Furthermore, fathers looking to establish paternity must also file a suit to establish paternity within a specified time frame.
Hiring an Attorney. Is it worth it?
For any man who suspects he may not be the biological father of a child and has been a victim of a paternity suit, it is important to consult with an experienced family lawyer in your area.
A knowledgeable attorney will explain your rights to you as an alleged father and help you file the required paperwork to contest paternity. Your attorney will also be able to help you obtain testing for DNA.
Categorised in: Child Custody