When a woman deceptively tags a man on a legal document as the father of a child, it is considered paternity fraud. This type of fraud occurs most times if the woman is looking to have some child support payments from the man.
However, paternity fraud does not break the law in the United States, as there are no incidences of criminal punishment in the regulations. Instead, filing a case in the civil court stands to be the only way by which a man who is a victim of paternity fraud can get reimbursements or collect damages.
Discover effective ways to handle a paternity fraud suspect in the rest of the article.
A family lawyer for men will simplify the problem and take you through the necessary steps to get measurable reimbursement for child support and emotional damages. Paternity can also be declared through court proceedings. This mostly occurs if there are paternity issues. A father who suspects he is not the biological father of a child can file a request for a court order to perform genetic tests.
5 Important Things to Do When You Suspect Paternity Fraud
In a situation where you suspect that a child is not yours, here are a few important things to do to avoid further chaos.
1. Request a Paternity Test
Paternity tests play an important role in child support and custody cases. They can prove whether or not a person is to cater to the finances and general well-being of a child. A man can seek a DNA test to find out parentage, and this test is a hundred percent accurate.
The mother of the child does not have the right to stop DNA tests when there is an issue of paternity fraud. Since a paternity test is not sufficient to arrest the issue, working with an experienced family lawyer can help you get through a paternity mess in court. Paternity suits can be filed in court for a few reasons.
- To get back child support payments.
- To collect damages for emotional stress.
2. Be Aware of Men’s Rights
As a man, you must know your rights when it comes to paternity. You should know that without the declaration of parentage, there are no parental responsibilities. If you are not well informed, contact an experienced family lawyer for men and be clear about your rights.
The moment you suspect paternity fraud, you should take necessary legal actions within two years of learning about the act. This is recognized by the court.
3. Do Not Sign Any Declaration of Paternity Documents
In situations where you suspect paternity fraud, avoid signing voluntary acknowledgment of paternity (VAP) forms in hospitals at the time of birth of the child. This will put you at risk of taking custody of a child that might not be yours.
4. Ensure You Are Not on the Birth Certificate
Avoid being on the child’s birth certificate at all costs. Most of the time, the court can conclude the issue based on legal documentation. Hence, not appearing on the birth certificate of the child makes it easier for the family attorney to wrap up the case.
5. Disestablish Parentage If Necessary
Disestablishing parentage is another germane thing to do. This can be done in three ways depending on the situation surrounding it.
- When Married – The law presumes that a man is the father of a child if the child was birthed after marriage. However, if the man suspects that he is not the biological father, he must take legal action to disestablish paternity within a stipulated time frame.
- When Not Married – In situations where a couple is unmarried, the use of a voluntary acknowledgment paternity (VAP) form is employed for establishing parentage. However, if you suspect any form of paternity fraud, avoid consenting to this type of form.
When Can a Paternity Test Be Done?
Some people question the importance of running a test of paternity. Other than establishing genetic similarities or predispositions of medical defects, it plays a major role in ensuring an open legal relationship with your child.
A paternity test is simply the use of DNA profiling to determine whether a man is the biological father of a child. This procedure is nearly 100% accurate in determining the biological father of a child. Wondering when paternity tests can be done? Here are a few options;
- Paternity test during pregnancy – If you suspect fraud right from when the woman is pregnant, a paternity test can be conducted as early as the first trimester of pregnancy.
- Paternity test at birth – If the paternity of a child is questionable at birth, you can conduct a DNA test after the birth of the child.
Why You Need Family Lawyers for Men in a Paternity Fraud Case
Family attorneys for men make the process easier. You might want to ask the question – why do I need a family lawyer for men?
1. For Proper Court Action
A family lawyer for men has the experience and will therefore ensure that the judge hearing the paternity fraud case has the necessary documents relevant to the case.
2. To Stand Up for Your Rights During Divorce
In situations where divorce might come in, family lawyers for men help you uphold your rights especially when children’s issues are involved. They act as the communication system and provide a strong voice for your legal needs.
3. To Ensure a Fair Deal During Compensation
When you are a victim of paternity fraud, an expert family attorney for men ensures that you get adequate compensation or reimbursement for child support and emotional damages.
4. Paternity Fraud Cases Can Be Complex
A lot of complexity surrounds family law, and paternity fraud is one of its hard nuts. Family lawyers for men uphold your right as a man and make sure the decisions made by the court are based on the adequate information provided.
Paternity fraud can be mentally disturbing, especially if the victim has financially and emotionally supported a child’s existence. However, with an expert family lawyer for men, you can successfully go through it and save yourself from the menace.