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Fraudulent paternity claims affect men everywhere

| Feb 25, 2015 | Family Law

Some people work hard to defraud others for financial gain, and paternity fraud is probably one of the most vicious ways of doing this. All too often a mother will claim that a child’s father is someone who is not biologically the father, leaving that man responsible for child support. In most states, including Maryland, there are time limits to contest paternity, and, after that time has passed, there is no way to contest demands for child support payments. This situation is largely in thanks to the Bradley Amendment — a federal law that prohibits judges from modifying child support orders retroactively.

In a nation where DNA tests costs about $30, there is no reason why a DNA test is not required for every case of questionable paternity. Unfortunately, the courts often believe whatever the mother claims in court, meaning that DNA tests are not ordered. The claim then becomes fact, as far as the courts are concerned. Once the court has ruled on paternity and child support, the ruling is hard to change even if there is later a DNA test that proves the man named as a child’s father is not actually the biological father.  

There is one case in which a man paid child support for years before discovering that the child did not even exist. The courts had taken the mother’s word for the existence of the child without ever requesting proof that the child was real. Also, there are thousands of cases in which there is proof that a child belongs to another man, but the one named as the biological father by the mother is the one who is being required to pay child support.

Paternity is an issue that can be settled with a simple DNA test, but it is often years before a man realizes that the child for whom he has been providing may not be his, and, in Maryland, men often discover this too late. A father who wishes to question whether a child is biologically his may want to consult with an attorney who can help him with the legal process of proving or disproving paternity. Wanting proof does not mean that the man does not want the child to be his, instead it means that he wants to be sure before being ordered to support that child for the next 18 years.

Source: noozhawk.com, “Diane Dimond: Paternity Fraud Begs the Question of Who’s Your Daddy?“, Diane Dimond, Feb. 21, 2015

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