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Paternity Fraud: Examining Its Effect on the Child’s Life

by Abdus Subhan
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Spending years thinking that you are biologically connected to a child only to discover that you don’t share DNA with them can be very distressing for any father.  Paternity fraud results in severe emotional distress. Both the child and the biological father are impacted.

The child might suffer harm in a variety of ways from paternity fraud. These impacts will be covered in this article.

What Is Paternity Fraud?

Paternity fraud occurs when a mother falsely asserts that a man is the biological father of her child. Sometimes the mother is aware that the man isn’t the child’s biological father. They might not be certain in other cases, or they might only have a strong suspicion that the child has no genetic connection to the father registered on the birth certificate. In cases of paternity fraud, the father is advised to seek the help of paternity lawyers or paternity and child custody lawyers.

The Effect of Paternity Fraud on the Child’s Life

For years, paternity fraud frequently remains unreported. When a parent suspect’s paternity fraud, it is best to get legal representation or hire a paternity lawyer for case evaluation. Sometimes it only becomes apparent when a child’s medical records show that the man named as the child’s biological father is not even remotely linked to the child.

The court will determine if the child support payments should continue. Although it might seem like the natural response is a negative one, the court’s response will be in the child’s best interests. Consequently, the court may:

  • Stop future child support payments 
  • Order a continuation of child support payments

A court may ask a father who is not the biological parent of a child to continue paying child support because:

  • Continued child support payments is what is beneficial to the child.
  • The court believes that if child support payments stop, the child may need government aid.
  • For a period of time, the father provided for the child and took care of him or her.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Assistance in Paternity Fraud Cases

In a paternity fraud case, a criminal defense lawyer can be extremely important in defending the rights of the wrongly accused father. When a man is incorrectly identified as the biological father of a child, paternity fraud occurs. This has major repercussions for both the unjustly accused father and the kid.

Initially, they can defend the rights of the supposed father in court by standing in for him. In order to ensure that the issue is treated fairly, they can advocate on behalf of their client. Second, they can contest the veracity of any evidence used to prove the purported father’s guilt, including DNA findings and other kinds of evidence that might have been fabricated.

This can help to prove who the real biological father is and clear the wrongfully accused individual. Additionally, criminal defense lawyers  can barter a plea deal with the prosecution, which might result in fewer charges or a better outcome for the client. Overall, a criminal defense attorney can be quite helpful in a paternity fraud case by defending the rights of the wrongly accused and seeing that justice is done.

Consequences of Paternity Fraud

A paternity fraud conviction can have several effects. One of the repercussions is the issuance of a contempt order. A person who violates a court order is said to be in contempt of court since their actions made it impossible for the judge to carry out their duties. In a case involving paternity fraud, the judge may declare someone in contempt for providing false information regarding the paternity test. In this situation, the judge might issue a contempt order, which could lead to charges.

This is particularly true if the person’s actions constituted a serious offence. The offender will subsequently be responsible for paying criminal fines and might even be required to serve time in jail. The victim of paternity fraud is also permitted to seek out the kid’s real biological father and sue him for restitution even though they cannot collect any already paid child support.

How Does Paternity Fraud Happen?

Typically, paternity fraud occurs when a man is requested to sign an affidavit of paternity for a child because they are not biologically related. In these situations, the mother most likely persuades the man to sign the affidavit. The problem becomes more complex when the state requests that affidavit or birth certificate as evidence of paternity. 

That is the circumstance in a child support case rather than requiring a DNA test before establishing child support. The “assumption of fatherhood” procedure is one of the ways through which paternity fraud happens. When a man is named as a child’s biological father by the state merely because he and the mother were legally married at the child’s birth or conception, this occurs.

In some places, the presumption of paternity is a legal requirement that forces some men to pay child support for children they are not linked to in some situations, even after the false paternity has been shown.

Things to Know If You Are a Victim of Paternity Fraud

If you are a victim of this, kindly note the following key points: 

  • A claimant of paternity fraud has no other option than to bring up the offence of deceit in civil proceedings.
  • The court will not issue a payment order to enable a paternity fraud victim to recoup their fees. That is if it exclusively serves a child’s interests to advance public policy.
  • There is a perception that dads love their children, therefore a claimant may have a better chance of winning general damages.

Please get in touch with a paternity fraud lawyer for a private conversation on what to do if you suspect you are not your children’s biological father.

How Can Men Protect Themselves Against Paternity Fraud?

The legislation and paternity laws surrounding paternity fraud vary greatly between states. If you are unsure whether you are the father of a child, please speak with a paternity lawyer for father’s rights. This is to establish the best course of action.

Some single men elect to forgo signing a birth certificate or acknowledgment of fatherhood in favour of letting the courts determine the father’s identity.

Note: You should get a DNA test right away if you think your partner has not been truthful in regards to the child’s paternity. DNA tests are available for purchase online, but a qualified attorney can advise you on the types of testing that will hold up in court. Parents who want further details on child support laws should look up the laws that apply in their state.

Conclusion

Because paternity fraud can lead to extremely significant legal complications, it is strongly advised that one refrains from engaging in it. It may also have an impact on how a child is raised. Their lives could be adversely affected in ways that go beyond childhood as a result of this.

Thus, if you require assistance with any kind of paternity-related or paternity-fraud-related difficulties, you might want to think about engaging a paternity case lawyer or get paternity legal advice. An expert paternity fraud lawyer can help you prepare a case if necessary and will offer legal advice tailored to your situation.

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