Archive for the ‘Paternity’ Category

Court of Appeals (surprisingly) authorizes reversal of determination of paternity based on father’s fraud claim

Ever since DNA testing became sufficiently accurate to conclusively exclude paternity, there’s been a tension between the goals of establishing paternity with finality and with accuracy.  Previous South Carolina case law has indicated a possibility of overturning prior but inaccurate determinations of paternity.  The August 2, 2017 Court of Appeals opinion in Ashburn v. Rogers […]

Orders of paternity

One area where law and culture are not congruent is the issue of paternity for children born out of wedlock. In many cases the parents of such children “know” who the father is and act accordingly (know is in quotes because sometimes the putative father’s understanding of his paternity is not accurate). For children born […]

Establishing paternity when the husband ain’t the daddy

A few times a year I am contacted by a mother who wants to put her child’s biological father on the child’s birth certificate but she was married to someone else at the time of the child’s birth.  What she expects to be an easy procedure isn’t.  Family court clerks will tell her she needs […]

Protection from what?

A couple weeks ago I received a phone call that is not very unusual.  An anxious mother-to-be had questions about custody.  Of particular concern was how she should “protect” her child from the father-to-be, who also happened to be her live-in boyfriend.  The obvious question–one I always ask in these situations–is why this child might need […]

Should there be a cause of action for paternity fraud?

A colleague of mine, T. Ryan Phillips, emailed me an October 1, 2012 Tennessee Supreme Court opinion in the case of Hodge v. Craig, 382 S.W.3d 325 (TN. 2012).  That opinion approves a cause of action for paternity fraud within that state.  With the rise of paternity testing, this cause of action may become more common […]

A new front in the battle of the sexes

A recent scientific breakthrough allows the paternity of an unborn child to be determined through a blood test of the mother as early as the eighth or ninth week of pregnancy.  This prompted Shari Motro, a law professor at the University of Richmond, to write an op-ed piece for the New York Times suggesting the […]

One hundred things I don’t know about South Carolina family law

This blog is inspired by myriad important family law issues that current South Carolina case law and statute don’t adequately answer.  None of these questions is merely academic, as each has come up at least once in my eighteen years of family law practice.  I have firm opinions on the correct answer to some of […]

Seeking paternity testing and joint custody

While nothing in the law prohibits it explicitly, I’ve never understood how attorneys can counsel their male clients to demand DNA paternity testing, especially for a child born in their marriage, while seeking joint custody of that child.  I’ve never done it and I don’t see how one can escape the logical conclusion that in […]

 

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