The Legal Repercussions: What Happens If the DNA Test Shows You’re Not the Father?

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Whether or not you are the biological father of a child is an important question that you need to answer. And you need to be sure of the answer. Most often, paternity results are about more than whether or not you get to see the child. Being biologically linked to a child brings certain responsibilities, like helping to ensure that the child has everything he or she needs to be healthy and happy. But if you’re not the biological father, you may not want to be responsible for raising a child who isn’t yours. That’s why paternity results can be important in any case dealing with children and who is responsible for taking care of them. Whether you’ve been taking care of a child or not, you may be wondering what happens when you get the paternity results. Here’s some information that can help. You can also visit this company to learn more.

Why You Need to Test Paternity

While there are a number of reasons that paternity might need to be tested, the most common reason is to find out if you are a child’s parent for legal reasons. Whether you are told you are a parent and owe child support or you think you are not a parent and do not owe child support, a paternity test can tell you what, if any, your legal obligations are to a child.

What Paternity Means for Parents

Paternity shows that you are the biological father of a child. Paternity test results can be used in legal proceedings to determine your responsibilities for a child. If a couple separates and there’s a child involved, paternity is used to settle uncertainty about legal obligations. It’s important to remember that along with legal responsibilities, paternity determines your rights as a parent, as well. Biological fathers may be required to help care for the child, but they may also be entitled to visitation with the child.

The Legal Repercussions of Paternity Results

It’s important to remember that paternity laws vary by state. While there are general legal repercussions to paternity results for all states, you should check the laws in your state for clarification and confirmation.

If you are not listed on the birth certificate and are not the father

In one scenario, the mother of a child is claiming you are the father of her child, even though you are not listed on the birth certificate. She may be asking for child support to help care for the child. However, after a paternity test, you discover that you are not the father. When that happens, there are no legal repercussions. If you are not the father and are not listed on the birth certificate, you have no legal obligations to the child or to pay child support to the mother. In addition, if you have been paying child support because you believed the mother of the child, you may be entitled to get that money back. This would be something a family attorney could help you with.

If you are not listed on the birth certificate and are the father

In another scenario, the mother of the child is claiming you are the father of her child, even though you are not listed on the birth certificate. Once again, she is asking for child support to help care for the child. After a paternity test, you discover that you are the father of the child. When that happens, you do have legal obligations to the child, such as child support. The results of the paternity test link you to the child biologically, which results in certain rights and responsibilities. You may be required to pay child support, but you may also be entitled to visitation with the child. In some states, you may be able to give up all rights and responsibilities to the child. However, the requirements for terminating rights vary by state, and you should seek help from a family attorney.

If you are listed on the birth certificate and are not the father

In another scenario, the mother of the child listed you on the birth certificate as the father of her child. You suspect you are not the child’s father and take a paternity test, that confirms your suspicion. Ordinarily, if you are not the father, you should have no legal obligation to the child. However, since you are listed on the birth certificate, it may be more complicated than that, especially if you have been caring for the child as your own. In this scenario, you may be considered the “assumed father,” which brings certain rights and responsibilities. In addition, if you have been paying child support under the assumption you are the child’s father, you may not be able to get that money back once you discover you are not the father. This is something a family attorney can help you with.

If you are listed on the birth certificate and are the father

Finally, in another scenario, the mother of the child listed you on the birth certificate as the father of her child. You suspect you are not the child’s father and take a paternity test. The results show that you are the biological father of the child. In this case, you are held to the rights and responsibilities of parenthood, including child support. If you have been paying child support under the assumption that you are the child’s father, you likely will not get that back. In some states, you may be able to terminate your rights to the child, which would also terminate your legal responsibilities to the child. However, this is something that you would need help with an attorney to determine.

Whether you suspect you are a child’s father or think you may not be, a paternity test is your first step to taking legal action as needed. This is an easy and reliable process. Once you know if you are the child’s biological father or not, you can decide what to do next and whether there are legal repercussions for you.