Responding To The Crime Of Paternity Fraud
Paternity fraud is a serious challenge to the legal establishment, even though it is not legally defined as a crime. Paternity fraud occurs when a woman identifies the wrong man as the father of her child. The man may believe that he is the father and ends up having to pay a substantial portion of his income in child support, until the child reaches adulthood. This often happens when a woman has an extra marital affair that results in a pregnancy. Often, women cover this up by naming their husband as the father. Paternity fraud usually takes place when the man does not doubt that he is the child’s father and is under the impression that he was the woman’s only sexual partner during their relationship or at the time of conception.
The consequences of this are far reaching, and affect not only the man, but also the child. The man is legally required to pay child support and can go to jail if he is unable to do so. The child can end up losing many means of support such as social security benefits, its inheritance, military benefits, and the knowledge of its paternal family history. Because paternity fraud is not generally recognized as a crime, it has become widespread and endemic. Read on to learn about the best recourses for responding to paternity fraud.
If you suspect that you are a victim of paternity fraud, the first course of action you should take is to seek expert legal advice. Your lawyer will be able to tell you what the best legal course of action will be. You should not pursue legal action before being properly advised and briefed by a competent lawyer who has experience in dealing with paternity and paternity fraud issues.
You should be aware that there is still not much precedent of men being compensated and relieved of financial fraud. In fact, men who are often clearly not the child’s father are still required by law to keep supporting it. This happens so often because the state has a vested interest in mothers naming their children’ fathers, so that the state does not need to support the child out of its own finances. Child support money is known to significantly swell federal bank balances.
The legal actions you can take can include DNA testing. DNA testing is a test of genetic material and can determine with more than 99% accuracy whether you are the child’s father or not. DNA testing is a tried and tested method of establishing a genetic link between a man and his alleged offspring. DNA testing is routinely available in labs throughout the country, but you may require the mother’s assent or a court’s order in order to be able to have it done, which can often be hard to obtain. This is why good legal counsel is of crucial in paternity fraud cases.
Recent legal developments have given defrauded men some reason to cheer. Many states are considering changing their antiquated paternity laws in light of new technologies such as DNA fingerprinting which are capable of determining paternity without any doubt. Courts now often require DNA testing before a man is required to shoulder the responsibility of providing for a child. Divorce cases commonly require DNA testing as a matter of course. You should be aware of all your legal options should the need arise, and therefore it is essential that you hire a good lawyer, one who is experienced and proficient in paternity fraud cases.
Responding to paternity fraud is difficult and your legal options can sometimes be limited, but with the right legal counsel, there is no reason you cannot overcome the fraud and even counter claim for damages.