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Family law in British Columbia: Who's the Daddy?

There are times when the issue of paternity becomes important. Usually, DNA tests are requested of a potential father when child support issues arise or a father is seeking parental rights. Paternity issues in British Columbia come under family law.

Even if the man who is being tested turns out not to be the father, he may not be off the hook when it comes to being responsible for the child(ren). There are many instances in British Columbia where the law considers a man to be a father -- DNA is just one of them. If the man was married to the child's mother when the child was born, he is presumed to be the child's father.

If the couple divorced 300 days prior to the child's birth or if the man died within that time period, the law still considers him to be the father. If the man married the woman after the birth of the child and she acknowledges him to be the father, the law agrees. If both the man and woman agree that the man is the father and his name appears in the child's birth certificate, the law acknowledges the man as being the father.

If the man signed a Child Paternity and Support Act agreement, stating he is the father, the law agrees with this as well. If any these things have taken place and the man denies paternity, he must prove he is not the father with a DNA test. If the man is shown to be the father, he has both obligations and rights. He has the right to access and/or custody and he is obliged to provide for the child financially.

There are many legalities surrounding the issue of paternity. British Columbia residents who may be questioning paternity might do well to speak with a B.C. lawyer who is seasoned in family law issues. A lawyer will be able to guide his or her client when it comes to complex paternity issues.

Source: findlaw.ca, "DNA testing and paternity issues", Miriam Yosowich, Accessed on Oct. 20, 2017

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