Key Questions To Ask A Divorce Attorney If You Have Paternity Concerns About One Or More Of The Children From Your Union

If you have recently determined that your marriage cannot be saved and you have reason to believe that at least one of the children that are legally yours might not be your biological child, it's of the utmost importance to protect both the child's best interests and your own to verify that information. However, it's often surprising to discover that there are guidelines that can impact your own responsibilities. Therefore, it's a good idea to discuss the following questions with your divorce attorney to determine what remedies are currently available. 

When And How Can A Paternity Tested Be Accessed?

When the possibility of infidelity has occurred, it only makes sense that emotions can be quite volatile for everyone. Fortunately, you will find that in most instances, as the presumed or legal father, you have the right to initiate a genetic test. Unfortunately, some men do not know that and many wives believe otherwise.  

As a result, you should still verify that unusual or specific situation will not negate your options, but in general, you do not need the biological mother's permission to verify your paternity. However, until and unless the courts have reduced or eliminated any existing child support order due to the binding results of that paternity test,  you should continue to pay the sum in question or risk legal action.

How Will A Negative Paternity Test Impact Your Rights And Responsibilities?

In theory, if it has been established that the child claimed to be yours is not, you have no legal responsibility to support or raise that child. Although that sounds harsh, that is often the desired outcome, especially if the marriage was of a short duration, the truth is much more complicated.

For instance, you may find that since you were legally married to the biological mother at the time of the child's birth or if you were not yet married and signed the birth certificate as the father, some states apply the idea that it's often best for the child for you to maintain a presence in their life. That could be true even if you can establish that you are not the biological dad, in which case you might find that you are still financially responsible for support of the child and are ordered to receive visitation. That is not always true, but has been surprising for many parents and case-specific concerns can be best addressed by your attorney. 

In conclusion, paternity issues during a divorce can be quite complicated and surprisingly difficult to address in some instances. Therefore, asking the above questions of divorce attorney, such as from Sylkatis Law, at that difficult time can be quite useful. Since those laws change from one state to the next, your divorce attorney will be able to help you to unwind the red tape and determine your options.