A Father Is Responsible For His Biological Child
It is a fact of nature: every child has a biological father. Determining precisely who that father is, however, can be surprisingly difficult. Yet establishing paternity is incredibly important for a variety of reasons. It can resolve certain identity issues crucial to a child’s proper development, and provide key health information concerning diseases and conditions to which the child may be predisposed. In South Dakota, paternity establishes a basis for child support — unless other arrangements are made, a father must provide financial resources to help with his child’s upbringing.
In cases where a child’s parents are unwed, where paternity has not been legally established, and where the father refuses to contribute support payments, it is common for a mother to bring a paternity suit. The mother names the father, and the state takes action to verify his identity. But this is not the end of the process. Rather, it is often where the confusion begins.
Establishing Paternity Is Not So Simple As A DNA Test
Attorney Matthew L. Skinner provides experienced counsel in disputes stemming from paternity. With offices in Rapid City, he has served throughout Pennington and Meade counties for more than 25 years. He will work to make sure that fathers assume responsibility for their children — and also to ensure that men designated as fathers have been correctly identified in the first place.
When a man contests a paternity claim, the surest path to resolution is through DNA testing. South Dakota courts are likely to demand such tests, which are more than 95 percent accurate. They can prove a genetic relationship and, likewise, identify when no such relationship exists — they can prove paternity and also authoritatively disprove it.
What Happens If An Alleged Father Refuses DNA Testing?
Alleged fathers who refuse to undergo DNA testing are subject to be held in contempt, and face steep fines and jail time. Yet men facing paternity proceedings have options. A mother’s claim can be challenged; there are many instances of paternity fraud, wherein a mother withholds information concerning the existence of other potential fathers. Moreover, roughly one-third of all men who undergo DNA testing are found not to be the father, after all.
Matt Skinner is prepared to assist in all manner of paternity suits, offering firm, understanding representation for mothers and alleged fathers alike.