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Paternity Fraud

Believe it or not, paternity fraud is an issue that families in Marvin, North Carolina and across the nation face. The New York Times has reported that studies show that there are as many as 30% of fathers who are actively making child support payments for children that are not even their own. Federal laws have become stricter over the years, pressing states to search out fathers and hold them financially liable for proving support to children that were born outside of marriage. That being said, when a parent commits paternity fraud, this dishonest behavior can have catastrophic effects not just for the men but for everyone involved, including the women and children.

Proof of Paternity Fraud

Paternity fraud in Marvin can happen several ways. First, a mother may attempt to name a father who is not the biological parent of the child. Second, a mother may refuse to inform a biological father that she is pregnant. Third, a mother may do both.

To establish a fraud case in North Carolina, the legal elements require a showing that:

  • The individual made a statement that was false
  • The individual knew the statement was false at the time the statement was made and
  • The statement was made with the intent to deceive the victim.

Furthermore, the victim of fraud must have reasonably depended on the falsely made statement to his or her detriment. To reasonably depend means that the victim must have been substantially influenced by the false statement. When it comes to paternity fraud, this usually happens when an alleged father is convinced to make child support for a minor who is not biologically his child. Detriment occurs when the individual suffered some type of injury resulting from the fraud. In paternity fraud cases, the injury can be real and long-lasting, not just for the victim, but also for his loved ones.

Effects of Marvin Paternity Fraud

The effects of paternity fraud in Marvin can be catastrophic. The effects can often concern both the biological father of the child as well as the person who was fraudulently named the father of the child.

Typically, a father who is fraudulently named is often held financially liable for an incredibly accumulation of child support payments for a child who is not biologically his. Failing to pay child support is actually a federal offense for which a personal can be criminally charged, and can be punished with up to two years in prison. Beyond jail time, failure to pay child support often results in very large fines and can result in you wages being garnished, your personal property being seized, revocation of a North Carolina’s driver’s license, and ruined credit.

Paternity fraud also adversely affects the biological father of the child. Parental rights may be denied to the actual father as a result of the fraud. Often times, the biological father is never told he has a child and loses the ability to raise him or her because of paternity fraud. This can be devastating for all parties involved, particularly the children.

Preventing Paternity Fraud

It is important to know that there are many different stages during litigation in which you can contest paternity in a Marvin family law matter. You can request a DNA test be performed to confirm or negate that the child is yours. Paternity testing in Marvin can be done by way of certain non-invasive procedures. These tests can occur during pregnancy and pose no danger to the baby or the mother. Keep in mind, however, until the child is actually born the issue of paternity is not a ripe legal issue.

Therefore, paternity fraud can happen during this time if you the mother are not married to either each other or to anyone else because individuals can voluntarily declare paternity. Alternatively, if the mother is married to someone, and that person is not the biological father, North Carolina law mandates the mother’s husband automatically be designated as the father on the birth certificate. In the first example, it is within a person’s rights to request a DNA test prior to electively signing an affidavit establishing paternity in North Carolina. That being said, in the second scenario even if the biological father electively signs an affidavit stating paternity, a hearing must be held before a judge for a ruling on paternity upon consideration of the evidence provided.

Family Law Help in Marvin

If you or someone you know wants to contest or establish paternity in Marvin, North Carolina, it is imperative to have the help of an experienced and competent family law attorney to act on your regard. Call the experienced attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC immediately to schedule a consultation with one of our Board-Certified Family Law Practice attorneys. With family law issues regarding paternity time is of the essence and a party on either side risks waiving their rights if they wait too long.