Cesar C. v. Alicia L: Sans a successful challenge to the paternity acknowledgment, the act had the effect of establishing the father’s legal paternity.
By Laura Morgan, Family Law Consultant
Acknowledgment of paternity, which was not challenged by mother, signed by mother and putative father on the day following child’s birth established putative father’s paternity, for purposes of putative father’s complaint to establish paternity, custody, and child support, and thus, genetic testing to determine whether putative father could be excluded as child’s father was irrelevant.
Laura Morgan is a Family Law Consultant. Laura is available for consultation, brief writing and research on family law issues throughout the country. She can be reached through her Web site.
Reprint with permission.
There are many statutes that say that any party in a proceeding can establish paternity by requesting scientific testing. As mentioned above, that standing is limited to men in divorce cases (as opposed to paternity cases). DNA tests are almost exclusively used, and are admissible as evidence if the probability is between 0 and 95%. If the probability is 95% or greater, then there is a reasonable presumption that the husband is the biological father, putting the ball in his court to prove otherwise.
Trial court’s custody order awarding primary custody to mother but providing that, if mother failed to relocate, primary custody would be automatically awarded to father was prospective modification of custody upon happening of future event, thus violating custody modification statute.