Divorce Issues: Questioning Paternity
Divorce can be hard for just some people. It depends on the relationship of the soon-to-be ex-spouses. When the spouses are not on good terms, a good divorce lawyer can be the voice of reason that benefits everyone concerned, especially the children of the marriage.
One tricky factor, however, is when there is a question of paternity. Most courts presume the husband is the father of children born within a marriage. That is not always the case, though. Either spouse or any child before the age of 21 can challenge this presumption by filing a motion in court. The results can have a big impact on the final divorce decree. Lewis & Matthews, P.C. adds, “…the law distinguishes the right to make important decisions for the child…”
The husband may deny paternity of one or more children in the marriage to avoid paying for child support and other costs. If the paternity test shows the husband is not the biological father, he will not be responsible for supporting the child. That is, unless the court says otherwise.
A wife may ask for a paternity test to keep the husband from gaining custody of or even visitation rights to the child or children. This may be for a number of reasons, including a desire to keep an abusive father from having any type of contact with a child. If the husband is not the biological father, he has no legal rights over the custody of the child. On the other hand, if the test shows the husband is the biological father, it makes it easier for him to fight for custody and visitation rights.
In Denver, the paternity test of choice is DNA or genetic testing. The petitioner or the divorce lawyer has to complete form JDF 1505, or Motion for Genetic Testing. An approved testing center will schedule and collect what it needs from the husband and the child. If the question of paternity comes up, the lawyer files the motion early in the proceedings. It is important to get the results prior to submitting any child support or custody motions to the divorce court.