Paternity claims

Get the Facts About Parental Rights, Paternity Testing, and Child Support

As far as the Massachusetts courts are concerned, both mothers and fathers have legal rights and obligations when it comes to children. However, a child born to unmarried parents doesn’t automatically have a legal father. The mother is given sole legal and physical custody until paternity is established. For married couples, the husband is presumed to be the biological father and is responsible for financial obligations. As a presumed father, if you believe you are not the biological father, meeting with an attorney to rebut presumed paternity is a time-sensitive matter and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. In order for an unmarried biological father to be determined to be the father of a child, paternity must be acknowledged. This can be done in writing if both parents sign a form known as a “Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage.” In many cases, this form is signed at the child’s birth. If the biological father is not present at the birth or unaware of the child’s existence, paternity testing may be required to establish parental rights or enforce obligations later on. DNA Testing The legal process used by the court to determine paternity is called genetic marker tests. These are simple medical tests to show paternal biological relationships. Two types of tests can be performed, a cotton swab with DNA from the mouth or a blood test. Samples are taken from the child, the biological mother, and the father in question. The tests are considered very accurate when it comes to

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How does a DNA test work?

Massachusetts residents may know that paternity testing is able to establish the father’s identity with a substantial degree of reliability. By matching the child’s DNA to that of the father, it allows parents and children to have resolution on this issue. Understanding paternity testing is based on one’s knowledge of genetics. The DNA code for each individual is specific except in identical twins. However, paternity testing, except in rare instances, is rated at an inclusion rate of 99.9 percent. This means that there is a .01 percent chance that the individual is not the father. Conversely, if the individual is not the father, the test will provide a 100 percent exclusion rate. A child receives 50 percent of his or her DNA from each parent. Since that is true for the parents as well, the child will have DNA that matches that of the grandparents more closely than the DNA of non-related, randomly chosen individuals. DNA fingerprints are done by using restriction enzymes to cut the DNA at certain intervals. Since all DNA is made of combinations of the same four units, A, G, T and C, this technique looks for specific sequences to make the cut. The parents’ DNA and the child’s is cut using this method, and the resultant fragments are matched. If the fragment pattern matches that of the proposed parents, parentage is established by a factor of 99.9 percent. Paternity is used to establish both the obligations of the father and his rights. Using DNA testing,

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How paternity is established in Massachusetts

Residents of Massachusetts may establish paternity with the court by filing with the court, the city clerk or the registrar of vital records. If the documentation is passed through a clerk or registrar, these entities are responsible for sending it to the state juvenile court. The court may also collect personal information about the parents and child. The information that the court or registrar may request include the names, Social Security numbers, ages, dates of birth and addresses of the mother, father and child. If paternity is not voluntarily established with the court, any party may seek to make such a registration. Establishment of paternity with the court is necessary in order to maintain fathers’ rights. The court must have proof of paternity in order to assign visitation rights and shared custody of a child. In order to enforce the obligations and rights related to paternity, the court may order proof of paternity. Such proof may be requested in order to confer custody rights as well as shared custody and visitation rights for the father and paternal grandparents. Paternity claims may be proven or disproved by way of paternity tests such as DNA testing. Once paternity is established by the court, additional actions such as orders for child support may commence in family court. Establishment of paternity provides a father with rights to access with a child. If either parent desires to establish or challenge paternity claims, this must be done through juvenile court. An attorney may be able to

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Mobile DNA testing service could assist in paternity claims

Many men, in Massachusetts and beyond, have doubts concerning the paternity of their children. In the past, DNA testing was either not readily available or was prohibitively expensive, leaving many men with little recourse other than to simply wonder. However, one business innovator has created a mobile DNA testing service that could assist men in ascertaining the validity of paternity claims. The man behind the service is the owner of a DNA and drug testing clinic. He decided to expand his business by outfitting an RV to serve as a mobile testing unit. The side of the vehicle is emblazoned with ‘Who’s Your Daddy’ in eye-catching lettering. Because technology has advanced so rapidly in the field of genetics, DNA testing services can be obtained for as little as $299. For many purported fathers, this is well worth the value of certainty when it comes to paternity. In addition, having the service available in such a quick and convenient manner allows the fathers of very young children to obtain a DNA screening with a high degree of confidentiality. For those Massachusetts men who find that they are not in fact the fathers of the child or children in question, an informed decision can be made concerning any paternity claims made by the mother. If an existing child support order is in place and the man wishes to challenge it, having proof that one is not genetically linked to a child is the first step in that process. No matter the outcome

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Michael Jackson’s bodyguard asserts paternity claims over his son

For Massachusetts fathers, one of their most powerful means they can have to assert their parental rights is through paternity claims. Once initiated, an investigation whether the paternity claim is true can commence. If the claims are corroborated, this can allow for child custody changes or visitation to be modified accordingly so that the father can then share in his child’s life, depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the case. The power of these claims can especially be seen in a new development in which a former bodyguard of Michael Jackson has stepped up and asserted paternity claims for one of Michael Jackson’s sons. The bodyguard claims that he is biological father of Blanket, Michael Jackson’s youngest son, and he would like to have visitation rights. In particular, he would like his terminally ill mother to be able to meet her alleged grandson before she dies. The bodyguard claims that he donated sperm for Michael Jackson to use when Michael Jackson expressed interest for an athletic child. Later, when the bodyguard met with Michael Jackson, the bodyguard asked whose child the boy was, and Jackson purportedly admitted that the sperm he used for the child was the bodyguard’s. The Jackson family, understandably, are wary of the claim. The bodyguard claims that he has no financial incentive for the child because he states he is already financially successful and that he doesn’t want anything but visitation rights with Blanket. He will provide his DNA for a paternity test and ask

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