Determining who the legal father of a child is can be significant for several different reasons. First, the father may be entitled to visitation rights and be required to pay child support to the mother. Furthermore, the child and mother may be entitled to learn more about the father’s medical history. However, it may be possible for the man named as a child’s father to challenge the results of a paternity test.
It may be possible to claim that the test was performed improperly or was conducted in a fraudulent manner. An individual might also assert that a child is not his because he is sterile or because the mother committed adultery. After a complaint is filed with the appropriate court, a judge may order additional paternity tests. In some cases, the actual father of the child will come forward and voluntarily assume responsibility for raising a son or daughter.
The judge may also review medical evidence or other information that may help to determine who a minor’s actual father is. In some cases, the standard for having a paternity ruling overturned is higher if the child is older. This is because overturning a longstanding order may have negative emotional consequences for that young person. If a paternity order remains in place, the parents are generally required to create a custody and child support plan.
Individuals who are seeking to challenge a paternity ruling may want to do so with the help of legal counsel. An attorney may be able to review a case and create a strategy that may help a person obtain a favorable outcome in court. New DNA tests, additional medical records or statements from the child’s mother may all help to determine whether or not an individual is a child’s legal father.