Paternity is a legal term that imposes reciprocal obligations on fathers and their children. It obligates the father to care for his children and allows the father to receive inheritances from his children. Misattributed paternity occurs when the father unknowingly provides care and support to a child to whom he is not biologically related. Under this situation, the father may file a claim for compensation.
Misattributed paternity, despite modern-DNA testing, still occurs. DNA testing is only utilized if there is a dispute regarding paternity. Most of the time paternity is not disputed, and fathers accept paternal responsibility.
But if the mother was unfaithful and deceived the father, misattributed paternity could occur. One way misattributed paternity may be discovered is if medical testing on the child reveals a condition that is not present in either parent. If this happened to you, there are two types of compensation to which you are entitled:
- You may reverse any property transfers or settlements.
- You may also receive compensation for any child support paid.
The court permits compensation because paternal rights are not voluntary. The father is legally required to provide financial support to his children. But in this situation, the father was deceived into providing that support. Therefore the court may permit reimbursement.
Misattributed paternity entails more than financial or legal issues. If this occurred to you, you might want to speak to an attorney. A lawyer can advise you of the various issues surrounding these lawsuits. It is best that you not try to litigate these issues all on your own. You want to proceed with the most information possible to ensure that you make the right decision.