Man Forced to Obey Child Support Order Despite Failed Paternity Test
A man residing in Colorado has been ruled legally responsible for more than $700 in monthly child support fees, despite failed paternity tests more than four years ago.
The man, Chris Atkins, discovered that his now 15-year-old daughter was not biologically his more than four years ago, after a DNA test brought on by a dispute between him and his ex-wife, who he divorced when the child was two. However, existing family laws in Colorado require Atkinson to continue support payments, as his name remains on the birth certificate.
Despite being required to honor the support order, Atkins announced recently that he has been denied rights to see the child, who he considers his daughter, with his ex-wife allegedly denying contact with the child for the last four years.
Although Atkins previously tried to submit the results of the DNA test to a county judge, it was allegedly refused because it did not meet submission guidelines. Though he later returned with an attorney to re-submit, the request was denied, as it allegedly did not meet legal requirements.
Paternity in California
Parentage, or paternity as it is commonly known, is best defined as the legal state of being established as a child’s parent. This can be done in one of two ways – either a court rules on paternity, or a parent signs an official Declaration of Paternity. However, this is only in cases where paternity is in question or disputed.
If a child is born to two parents who are married, there is rarely a question regarding parentage. The law in California assumes that the spouses are the parents. However, in cases where the parents are unmarried, paternity must be established legally. So, if a child were born to unmarried parents, they technically would not (legally) have a father until paternity has been legally determined.
Establishing paternity is also a prerequisite for other key circumstances in the life of a child, and is required before a court is able to award custody, child support or visitation in Los Angeles. In cases where a parent disputes parentage, a court will typically order
Once an individual has been legally established as a parent, a person assumes all rights and responsibilities that accompany the duty of being a parent. This includes requesting visitation and custody, as well as paying child support and other related costs necessary for the child’s upbringing.
Finding a Trusted Attorney in Los Angeles
If you or someone you love has been involved in a paternity dispute, or if you are dealing with any paternity-related matters, it is best to consult with a Los Angeles divorce attorney, who can work with you to determine what the best course of action is for your particular situation.
For those residing throughout Southern California, including the City of Los Angeles, Whitmarsh Family Law, PC serves as a leading resource for legal issues in the family law arena, including those involving paternity. Our team of skilled litigators is extremely well versed in the many facets of California family law and can work with you and your family to find a solution that meets everyone’s needs, not just now, but well as in the future as well.
Dealing with family-related matters can often be difficult, but there are resources and support services available to you. To get started, we invite you to call the divorce law office of Whitmarsh Family Law, PC at (310) 552-3505 to schedule a preliminary consultation to assess your paternity case.