Involvement of both parents in the life of their child can be beneficial for that child, but uncertainties about paternity can create stress as well as questions for various parties. There are various scenarios that could result in a paternity challenge, and either a mother or a father can make such a challenge. Proper identification of a biological father is helpful due to the legal, relational and medical benefits that are available to a child whose parentage is known. However, errors in identification can occur either due to problems with testing or falsification of information.
Accepted grounds for initiating a paternity challenge include several possible areas. A presumed father might offer proof of the mother’s infidelity during their marriage. A mother might provide proof that the wrong person was tested in place of an alleged father, an issue that would result in fraudulent results. Evidence of consistent error problems from a lab could be used to substantiate a paternity challenge. Tampering with lab results could also provide an opportunity for challenging paternity. A man might offer proof of his sterility or infertility as grounds as well.
Just as DNA testing is used to establish paternity, it can be used to determine that a man is not the biological father of a child. Although blood tests can provide information about two individuals being related, DNA testing is considered to provide the most accurate results for parentage. A complaint being filed with the court system is usually the appropriate way to initiate a challenge.
An individual who has been named on a birth certificate as the father of a child may not be aware of the fact until presented with orders to pay child support. In such a case, a lawyer may help in coordinating the complaint and testing needed to challenge paternity.
Source: Findlaw, “Challenging Paternity“, December 05, 2014