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Paternity fraud can impact child custody, support cases

It is estimated that as many as 30% of men who identify as fathers are unaware that they share no biological link to the children they believe are theirs. That is a frightening statistic, and indicates the presence of widespread paternity fraud in Colorado and across the nation. One group is trying to raise awareness of the issue, in the hopes of helping men avoid child custody and support cases based on fraud. 

One way that paternity fraud is revealed is when a couple separates and the mother seeks financial assistance from the state. In such cases, mothers are often required to name the father of their child, and paternity testing is ordered. When the results come back, they often reveal that the person named as father is not actually the father. 

In many instances, those men are still held responsible as parents. That decision is sometimes based on presumption of parentage laws that hold that a man whose wife bears a child during their marriage is automatically presumed to be that child's father. That can lead to a great deal of distress to both the presumed father and the child. 

These cases are difficult for Colorado courts to address, since the best interests of a child are involved. However, there is no denying that allowing a man to believe that he has fathered a child when that is not the case, and holding him financially and morally responsible for a parental role, is simply not fair. At least one state is working on legislation to address this type of paternity fraud, which could help men faced with child custody and support cases. 

Source: turnto23.com, "Women Against Paternity Fraud advocating for men and children", Grecia Aguilar, Dec. 5, 2017

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