Paternity issues are common problems that pop up in a divorce where children are involved. Paternity has to be proved if contested in order to claim child support. There are many ways paternity issues can occur. These include:
o Mother of a child can file for child support from alleged biological father.
o A criminal case can be filed against alleged biological father for non support.
o Father has to prove paternity to claim visitation privileges or obtain child custody.
o Boyfriend or separated husband can contest paternity of child concerned.
Thus wherever there is a doubt regarding parenthood of a child, paternity has to be established. DNA and blood testing are the two tools most commonly employed by court to establish paternity.
Determine the best time and place to file
The problems faced with paternity issues are that there is only once chance for paternity litigation. Whether the issue is contested, proved or ignored, you cannot go back once a final determination has been reached. Thus in a divorce if the father agrees to pay child support for children born in the marriage, he cannot, at a later stage, contest the child's paternity. If there are any doubts in the mind of father, at any time during course of proceedings; it is in best interests of everybody involved to take a paternity test.
Sometimes when parents are getting divorced, father ensures that the children are biologically his by going for a paternity test before being ordered to pay child support. Many a time, child's mother decides to collect child support from biological father and for this both men are subjected to paternity tests.
When to determine paternity
The sooner the better. In the state of Georgia, you cannot go back and contest paternity if you are already paying child support to the child born into marriage between you and his mother. Thus never ignore doubts in this regard. Ask them and clear them as soon as possible before it is too late.
What if the child is born out of wedlock?
There are issues of paternity even when child is born out of wedlock. A mother cannot request for child support from the father in this case. Moreover the father has to be located by mother and then reported to authorities. The Office of Child Support Services in Georgia, offer DNA testing for fathers for determination of paternity. If the man is found to be the father of the child in question, a case can be filed against him with the child support office in Georgia.
Is it worth the effort to establish paternity, even when the dad and I are still together?
Yes. If you and the father split up, it will be costly and time consuming to prove that he is the father. It is better to be prepared than undergo grueling sessions where paternity is being questioned. Women, pregnant with child of a man who refuses to accept paternity should consult with a family law attorney at the earliest. Similarly men should not be lured by physical similarities with child but should opt for paternity testing.
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