Paternity fraud, also known as child identity fraud, is very common in family courts. Some fathers are expected to pay child support for children that aren’t theirs and it can get pretty messy. There’s not much that can be done in this type of situation without the help of an experienced Westlake Village paternity attorney. Courts can give these parents a hard time. From DNA tests to blocking the parent from seeing the child, the current system definitely needs improvement.
A nationwide problem
Paternity fraud is a problem of nationwide proportions. Every year more fathers are required to support children that are not theirs. As alarming as it might sound, around 30 percent of fathers are already paying child support for nonbiological children. Sadly, these fathers come to the court with DNA prove and they are still required to pay child support. Why is that? The state doesn’t want that financial burden on them. When couples get married, the husband is expected to be the biological father but that’s not always the case. Years later, the husband finds out the child is not his and takes DNA tests to support his suspicions. Unfortunately, the court will not do much except telling him to support the child until the age of emancipation, that’s 18 years of age.
Paternity fraud is also very common in cases involving children born out of wedlock. The mother generally lists someone as the father when applying for welfare or state aid. This can serve as evidence in court and may interfere with the amount of money the state provides. Unfortunately, the mother is not required to prove it, just estate who is the father and provide his contact info. Over 40 percent of children are born out of wedlock so the problem may not disappear in the near future.
Wed and unwed fathers
Another common paternity issue is unwed fathers not having legal rights to the children until the paternity is properly established. It may not matter much for some couples but some problems may arise if the couples decide to break up. Married couples have legal rights as parents that unwed parents don’t have. Unwed mothers are generally granted physical custody of the child until the father establishes paternity. Although naming the child in the birth certificate is the easiest way to establish paternity, there are instances when the child is born after the couple was separated or maybe the father didn’t know his wife or partner was pregnant. Other options available to establish paternity include signing an affidavit of paternity.
Many paternity issues aren’t solved in the current system. This leaves many children and parents without hope and in desperate need of sound legal intervention. Most paternity problems necessitate the advice of a Westlake Village paternity attorney that will shed some light on current circumstances. If you are seeking to prove or to establish your paternity, speak with family law attorney Stephanie L. Mahdavi today and find out about your options.