A client who resides in Arizona called me pertaining to a child support case being enforced by Arizona Department of Child Support and the case was established (paternity and child support) in India. Note, there is no present treaty with India.
Paternity cases capture public attention and grab headlines.
A man in Texas discovers three of his four children are not his; a former Marine sergeant seeks visitation rights for children he fathered while he and the mother were married to others; an Indiana man fights to retain custody of a child that is not biologically his and of course, the most recent tabloid paternity case is who was the father of the child of the late Anna Nicole Smith. Each story is unique, and both legislatures and courts are struggling to find the solutions to the complex problem of establishing a child's paternity with some finality in order to provide that child with stability and a legal right for child support.
The recent advances and popularity of DNA.
The recent advances and popularity of DNA and genetic testing have allowed conclusive establishment and disestablishment of paternity. However, this has created new issues. For years, any child born to a married couple has been presumed to be a child of the marriage, and the husband the legal father. In California, the marital presumption of paternity has been codified. This law simply finds that a child born to a woman who is cohabitating with her husband is conclusively presumed to be a child of the marriage.
The states' differ in the requirements to challenge paternity.
In Illinois, only the child, the mother or the presumed father can challenge paternity. In Delaware, anyone can bring a challenge at any time. States also have different time limits for setting aside a legally established paternity. Alaska requires it to be brought within 3 years of the child's birth, or within 3 years after the challenger knew or should have known of the child's paternity. Washington requires that a challenge be brought "within a reasonable time." Maryland requires anyone challenging the voluntary acknowledgments of paternity to be initiated in writing within 60 days of signing. Clearly, the attorney representing you must be aware of the statute of limitations for bringing forward the motion to set aside paternity.
Historically, fathers of illegitimate children had no legal duty to support them.
Historically, fathers of illegitimate children had no legal duty to support them. But increases in the number of children born out of wedlock and social and financial consequences of this policy resulted in the establishment of financial duties owed by unmarried fathers to their children. But courts are all over the place in their rulings. Courts are more likely also to allow a set aside of paternity if the parents were never married. For example, the Ohio Supreme Court granted the set aside of a paternity in a case where the man never responded to court documents establishing paternity and child support concluding in a default judgment. This man, however, obtained a DNA test that excluded him as the father.
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