As this blog has discussed in the past, there are many instances when a Louisianan may want to establish paternity. By establishing paternity, a custodial parent may be able to obtain much needed child support, and a man could claim his father’s rights, which may include parenting time and custody. However, there are also instances when challenging paternity may be in one’s best interests.
This may be especially true for a man who is being forced to pay child support for a child he believes is not his biological child. If paternity has been established, then the man will have to disprove the validity of that determination, which would then alleviate him of the obligation.
Challenging paternity can be difficult, though. One way to try to dispute paternity is to claim that the laboratory results on which the paternity determination rests were tainted. Another way is to claim that lab results were obtained by fraudulent means, which may include having an individual who is not the alleged father take a DNA test. A third way to challenge paternity is to claim that the test results were improperly handled, thus resulting in contamination.
These approaches, if successful, may only delay a paternity determination, as a court could order another test that proves conclusive. However, when paternity was established via marriage at the time of birth, a man may be able to present evidence showing that his wife was unfaithful during the marriage, thus putting paternity in question.
Family law issues like paternity can be hotly contested, and the outcome can have very real financial and emotional effects on all parties involved. Therefore, those who are dealing with issues of paternity, whether it relates to child custody or child support, should carefully think about the best way to approach the matter from a legal standpoint.
Source: FindLaw, “Challenging Paternity,” accessed on Sep. 16, 2016