Are You Facing A Paternity Dispute?
Paternity issues are often contentious, regardless of whether or not they come up in a divorce proceeding or a family law matter. They have major impacts on both your emotional and financial future. Moreover, they require a level of commitment that lasts a lifetime. If you are attempting to secure your parental rights or dispute an unfair obligation, our office can navigate the intersection of the law and science.
Paternity is a legal term that refers to who is legally considered a child’s father and who is ultimately responsible for a child’s care. For many families, the presumption that a husband is a child’s father is sufficient. For others, proving legally that a man is the father of a child is vital. Paternity allows fathers to exercise the right to parent their child, is key to obtaining child support and offers your child legal benefits if you are injured or pass away.
The Science Behind Paternity Testing
Legally, the courts presume that a man who was married to a child’s mother at the time of conception is the child’s father. This presumption may not accurately reflect your situation. If so, scientific testing will likely be a necessity.
Basic paternity testing often begins with a blood test. Every individual has a specific blood type, the same typing used in emergency blood transfusions. Scientific understanding of blood types allows medical professionals to rule out an individual as a parent or near relation. In many cases, however, blood typing can only exclude someone from paternity claims. It cannot assert that a person is, irrefutably, the father of a child.
More conclusively, DNA testing allows medical professionals to positively identify a relationship between close relatives. This is a much more useful tool for many fathers in the middle of a legal dispute. It is important to note, however, that there can be issues with DNA testing.
Your Next Steps
Paternity is directly related to your responsibility for child support, custody and other parenting rights. Our firm can help you legitimize your claim to parental rights or dispute these claims. We understand the science and can work with you to achieve your legal goals. Email our firm today.