Issues arising from Paternity Lawsuit and ascertaining the veracity of same is a significant stride in the direction of fetching child support. The simple question of who the father of a child is can cause a whole lot of controversy.
There Are Two Ways Paternity Can Be Determined Which Are To Wit:
- Agreed Paternity: which is also known as an acknowledged. An acknowledged father is the organic or biological father of a child born to single parents who are unmarried but by admission or agreement fatherhood has been ascertained and will mandatorily pay child support.
- Presumed father: where the presumption of law deems it established upon the happening of specificA man is presumed to be the father of a child where any of the under-listed situations is found provided always that such presumption is rebuttable upon a contrary proof in court by the man or the mother of the child:
- Where the man married the mother after the birth of the child and by the compromise of the man and the mother had the name of the man written on the birth certificate.
- Where the man continues to be married to the mother when the child was conceived or born. Some States do not presume a man to the father of a child where the couple alienated or separated.
- Where the man takes steps to practically marry the mother of the child when the child was conceived or born notwithstanding that the married may be void or voidable by law.
- Where the man takes up care and custody of the child and publicly held out the child as his own.
These presumptions of law on Paternity issues in some States are considered irrebuttable and conclusive notwithstanding a contradictory blood tests. In the celebrated case of Michael H. V. Gerald D., 491 U.S. 110 (1989), the US Supreme Court upheld California’s presumed father Statute as a logical method of preserving the integrity and uprightness of the family in opposition to confrontations based on the due process rights of father and child.
The question of parentage as to whether a person is the legal parent of a child can arise in any situation under the Uniform Parentage Act which the State of California has adopted by statute due to its the prevalent and sensitive nature.
Payment of Child Support By A Presumed Father
Presumed and acknowledged parents are duty bound under law to pay child support. We will be considering the legal classifications of parents who are required by law to pay child support. Some of which are as follows:
- Alleged father: Also known as an unwed father is a single man who impregnates a woman; he is mandatorily required under law to pay child support. Where a court acknowledges an alleged father, he has the right to visitation and can seek custody of the child.
- Equitable parent:Courts validates the idea of an equitable Parent when a spouse (who ordinarily are not a biological parent) and a child enjoys a close relationship and deems themselves as parent and child or where the biological parent permits a close relationship with a child.
A spouse who is not a legal parent; that is (biological/organic or adoptive) may be granted custody or visitation based on the perception of the equitable parent. Where the court allows an equitable parent custody or visitation of a child, such parent will also be required to pay child support.
Equitable Parent ideology came up due to the dynamics of the law in recent times, and most States have adopted the same especially in cases of the marriage of same-sex couples who wish t parent together.
- The spouse of a legal (biological/adoptive) mother is a stepfather. The Stepfather is not also the biological father of the wife’s children. A stepfather is not bound under law to pay child support to the child or children of his spouse except he adopts them legally.
Lawsuit bothering on Paternity of a child is primarily instituted to have a man pronounced judicially or legally as the father of a child. Such suit can be commenced either the mother or the father of a child depending on the particular facts or circumstances of the case. Paternity Lawsuit proceedings are also referred to as “Paternity Action,” “Parentage Actions,” “Establishment Hearings,” or “Filiations Hearings.”
There are Welfare Officials who provide Temporary Aid To Needy Families and in most cases, they are responsible for initiating most paternity lawsuit on behalf of the mother of a child to help her seek recompense from the father.
Blood and DNA tests can positively resolve Paternity arguments with 99.99% accuracy and conversely can disprove Paternity with 100% accuracy. Where the Paternity of a child is ascertained consequent upon a Paternity Lawsuit, the court will most likely order the father to pay child support and accordingly grant him custody and/or visitation rights.