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Is it possible to challenge paternity?

Establishing parentage is a big deal, not only in Maryland but elsewhere as well. Doing so will determine who is to take responsibility for financially supporting a child, who is allowed to have access to a child and who may be granted custody. There are those who may not agree with paternity findings, though. Is it possible for these individuals to challenge paternity in court?

Both mothers and potential or declared fathers have the right to challenge paternity in court. It is not entirely uncommon for the wrong person to be listed as father on a child's birth certificate. It is also completely possible for paternity testing results to provide false positives.

There are certain grounds for challenging paternity in court. These include proof of tainted lab results, proof of infertility or sterility and proof of infidelity -- among others. One who believes that paternity was wrongfully declared can, with the assistance of legal counsel, file the appropriate claims in family court. Once a claim is filed, if the court agrees to proceed with the case, DNA testing at a court approved facility will be ordered. In some cases, more than one test may be necessary.

In Maryland and elsewhere, DNA testing is considered the most accurate way to determine paternity. If the court-ordered tests come back negative, the individual currently listed as the child's father can have his name removed. However, if paternity results are positive, both parents can then, with the assistance of family law attorneys, move forward in determining support and child custody arrangements.

Source: FindLaw, "Challenging Paternity", Accessed on Aug. 17, 2016

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