Posts Tagged ‘Paternity’

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 […]

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 […]

In disputes between biological parents and third-parties, we don’t want decisions to be based on “the best interests of the child”

A review of the excellent news reporting from Allyson Bird at the Charleston Post and Courier, regarding the adoption case involving two year-old, Veronica, her prospective adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, and her Cherokee birth father, Dusten Brown, demonstrates a misunderstanding when a “best interests of the child” standard is applicable.  For custody cases […]

In 3-2 decision, Supreme Court takes narrow view of unwed father’s parental rights

The creation of parental rights and responsibilities for unwed fathers are hardly reciprocal.  The state, the mother, or the child’s guardian can come after an unwed father at any point to seek child support.  Age 17? Sure.  Even after the child is an adult if that child has physical or mental disabilities.  In contrast, an […]

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 […]

Treating Unwed Daddies as Wallets

I had lunch yesterday with Charlie F.P. Segars-Andrews, who mentioned she had been contacted to do work with an agency, Responsible Committed Fatherhood Initiative, attempting to assist fathers establish visitation at the same time the Department of Social Services establishes child support.  Given my interest in assisting such fathers obtain court-ordered visitation–my most recent volunteer case […]

In era of DNA paternity testing, Supreme Court finally (and greatly) weakens presumption of in-wedlock paternity

“The presumption that a child born in wedlock is legitimate, although rebuttable, is one of the strongest known in the law.” Lewter by Epps v. Thompson, 281 S.C. 397, 315 S.E.2d 821, 823 (Ct.App. 1984).  Yet, for as long as I have been practicing family law, I’ve expected the Supreme Court to eventually reduce or eliminate […]