In Family Law matters, establishing the parenthood of a child is crucial to resolving cases involving child support payments, custody, access, inheritance and adoption. Children continue to have the right to receive reasonable financial support from their real parents even after parents separate. When it comes to inheritance, the law also bestows a privilege for legitimate children to have a greater share of properties than those who are born illegitimate.
Generally, a man married to the child’s mother at the time she became pregnant is presumed by law to be the biological father of the child. The reason for this presumption is that married couples are expected to have sexual intercourse only with his wife, and not with other parties. Birth certificates and statutory declarations that the man is the father of a child are also considered to be proof of parentage.
In an instant where the legitimacy of the child is in question and that the proof of parentage is not enough to establish parenthood, the court can order a parentage testing which the child can undergo to prove its real parents.
Parentage testing is only one of the reliable means to prove the biological relation of parents to their kids. Also known as paternity test, it involves testing the DNA to trace the genetic composition of an individual and determine its ascendants or descendants. The DNA testing must be conducted by an organization accredited under the Family Law Act in order for the results to be admissible as evidence in the court.
Both parents can agree to a parentage test and apply to the Family Court for the DNA testing to be ordered. This application is cost-free. Although the court can order a parentage test, it must be taken into account that it cannot physically force someone to submit to the test. If the child is under 18 years old, the court will have to ask for the parent’s consent before proceeding on the test. The result of a parentage test will aid the court in declaring the real parents. Thus, the process for child support, custody, access, inheritance, and adoption can arrive into a reasonable outcome.
Family law matters involving the biological relationships of parents to children can be really hard and complex. It entails any parent to receive a good legal advice in order to understand the ups and drawbacks of parenting proceedings.