Paternity is the legal acknowledgement of the parental relationship between a child and the father. In the case of a dispute over who is the biological father of a child, the father, mother or any party in interest can ask the court for a determination. A lawsuit can be filed by the states or by a private party. Often, a private action is brought by the mother seeking child support. The individual named in the paternity suit is called the putative father. The putative father can either consent to the paternity judgment or contest the action.
Acknowledging Paternity and DNA Testing
If the putative father consents, an affidavit acknowledging paternity is signed. This document establishes the legal relationship between the father and the child. It is also a permanent consent. Even if it is discovered later down the road that the person is not the child’s biological father, it will be difficult to escape the responsibility of paying child support. That’s why it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced paternity attorney like Tracie T. Kogura before consenting.
To ensure that a putative father is in fact the biological parent, attorney Tracie T. Kogura will advise taking a DNA test. DNA testing is the most powerful evidence for indicating the probability of paternity. It’s admissible as evidence in paternity trials. The general percentage rate of a DNA test required for determining paternity is 95 to 99 percent. Rebutting a DNA test is highly difficult. And if the putative father refuses to submit to a court ordered DNA test, he may be fined or wind up in jail.
Benefits of Establishing Paternity
In addition to child support, paternity establishes an emotional and social connection between father and child. The child may be eligible for medical insurance, life insurance, an inheritance or social security benefits. It’s also helpful to the child’s health, as physicians will have access the family’s medical history of illnesses or diseases. Plus, studies have shown that fathers play a vital role in their child’s development. With a father figure, children are more likely to stay in school and grow up to be responsible adults.
If you are seeking to legally determine the biological father of your child, turn to attorney Tracie T. Kogura for the best legal advice and representation.