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Everything You Need to Know About Paternity Suits

Alan Brown
September 8, 2021

Paternity suits can play an essential role in establishing child support and custody. However, these can be emotionally charged battles that can take an immense toll on all the parties involved, both financially and mentally. In this article, we will tell you everything you may need to know about a paternity suit. 

Why the Father Is Important in a Child's Life, Psychologically and Legally

According to studies, fathers play an essential role in a child's life. He can maintain a balance in family relationships, keeping the family safe and leading the child towards the acceptance of social rules and norms. A father can also represent a model for boys on how they should behave in life. In the child's eyes, the father dominates the outside world and makes the most critical decisions, solving most of the family's problems. That is why the child sees in the father the security he needs. 

Moreover, the father also has a vital role from a legal point of view, which is why the father must recognize his child legally, even if he no longer has a relationship with the child's mother. 

The benefits of recognizing paternity are also of a family and psychological nature. When a father recognizes his child, he can also ask for custody or visiting rights. 

There are obligations and rights on both sides, and the recognition of a child will mean sharing responsibilities towards the child equally. The father will no longer be a stranger to the child, although it is debatable whether the father. Still, ultimately obliged to acknowledge the child, will want to have contact with the child.

What Is a Paternity Suit

If there is a child out of the marriage whom the father does not legally recognize, the mother can seek recognition of paternity through a civil action in court. The law provides that the legal heirs can continue the action if the mother is no longer alive.

Paternity is assumed if it can be proved that the assumed father cohabited with the child's mother during the period of conception. This presumption is only eliminated if the supposed father can prove the contrary, that he could not have conceived the child.

Apart from seeking recognition of the child, the mother can also claim damages, claiming payment of half of what she spent during the birth and following the pregnancy.

How Can Paternity Be Proven

Plaintiffs can bring witnesses in court who can tell about the relationship between mother and father, even if it was a temporary one. The plaintiff's lawyer can also use testimonies and documents attesting to the relationship that led to conception. But the most critical piece of evidence will be the paternity test, which most certainly proves the truth. Forensic expertise has a definitive answer.

What Is A Paternity Testand How It Works

The paternity test is done to determine paternity, meaning whether a man is the biological father of the child or not. This test is the only method of certainty in determining the degree of family relationship.

Biological samples from the presumed father and the child are required for the test. The analysis of a sample from the mother increases the confidence of the test but is not mandatory for the test to be carried out.

16 DNA sequences are analyzed for each person tested. Based on these 16 sequences, a genetic profile is created for each person (presumed father, child). The profiles are compared, and a match is obtained for each marker. The two profiles are compared, and it is decided for each marker whether the presumed father's genotypes match those of the child.

Who Can Request a Paternity Test

These analyses are applied in the following situations: 1. At the request of the courts 2. At the request of the individuals concerned (father, mother, or even the child in question).

Benefits of the Paternity Suit

Some of the benefits of filing for a paternity suit include:

  • The child will have the father's name on the civil status documents;
  • The child can receive financial support from the parent against whom paternity has been established if this is requested in court;
  • The father can receive the child's company and visitation schedule if the mother refuses his contact with the child;
  • In certain situations, the father in respect of whom paternity has been established may request and obtain custody of the child;
  • From the moment paternity of the child out of marriage is confirmed, the rights and responsibilities of both the father and the mother are equal.

Other Solution Instead of a Paternity Process

The paternity process can take a long time and require a lot of paperwork, visits to the court and can leave a bitter taste for both you and the father. Not to mention the child who senses all the tension created and the high cost.

That's why we recommend a less aggressive and cheap alternative - the mediation of the problem by a specialist. 

Mediation is a form of intervention of a third party, the mediator - neutral, impartial, and without the power to decide - in the dispute process. 

It is a voluntary process of collaboration between the parties to a dispute. With the procedural assistance of the mediator, the parties identify problems, consider alternatives, adopt decisions and discuss options for resolution.

The mediator facilitates open communication and solving differences between the parties in a non-combative and confidential manner.

Our Company Has the Most Qualified Mediators in California

The father is one of the prominent persons to influence a child's life and one of the first role models in his life that helps him develop in a harmonious social and psychological way. No one can take the place of a father in a child's life, even if he's occasionally present; the important thing is that he's present.

If you are looking for a less aggressive solution to paternity, don't hesitate to contact us. 

Contact us now at info@dcot-m.com or at (818)835-3523 for California's best professional mediation services.

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