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Divorce and Determining Paternity

Paternity issues can become a big problem during a divorce proceeding, but they are rather common. When a husband questions his paternity to a child, the paternity test should be done during the early stages of the divorce in order to give both the husband and the husband’s lawyer enough time to prepare the necessary court documents asking for relief from child support or for any modifications for child support and visitation.

In order to prevent or lessen the harm done to the child involved, paternity in divorce should be handled properly, since divorce itself can already by emotionally painful to the child. There are two general ways that paternity can be determined, but only one is deemed a reliable source: HLA and DNA testing are both used. HLA testing, however, is not as accurate as DNA testing (which has become more affordable and is 99 percent accurate).

The court legally assumes the man is the father of the child when his is married to the mother, or he has signed a certificate of paternity (regardless of whether it is the birth certificate or affidavit of paternity). A putative father is a man who is alleged to be the father of a child born out of marriage. According to the website of the Law Office of Kirker Davis LLP, a biological father has the responsibility to provide for their minor child despite being divorced from the mother. When doubts regarding the paternity of the man are brought into question, it is the father or the petitioning party who will have to provide the burden of proof, or the paternity testing is brought about by the child support office or the court themselves.

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