What rights does a father has if one of the children turns out not to be his biologically?

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What rights does a father has if one of the children turns out not to be his biologically?

I am actually inquiring for a friend. The child is almost 1 year old and he has just found out in the past week or so that there is a possibility she is not his. He has been the main financial support for her, he is on her birth certificate and had to take her to get all her immunizations, SS card and birth certificate, since he found out after returning from deployment that the mother had done nothing. He wants to know if they go through with divorce if he has a chance to be able to be the legal guardian for both of the girls, as it would be in the best interests of the children. He is in the military with a stable career, life and savings and has been providing everything for the girls since day one. The mother has no job and the other man doesn’t have a steady source of income. The oldest girl, who is almost 2 1/2, is his and he is going to do a paternity test to find out if the baby is his. I just want to know if he has a fighting chance to be the father for both girls if divorce does indeed happen.

Asked on November 25, 2012 under Family Law, Hawaii

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the other person is not in the child's life and your friend has been acting as the father and is the legal father (child born during marriage is legally presumed the husband's) and wants to be the father and continue to be the father, he stands a fantastic chance. He needs to make sure he has the right attorney to help him and should look for a lawyer who is experienced in family law, millitary law as it impacts family law dynamics and he needs to consider whether he needs to press the paternity issue truly now or wait until after.  He needs to discuss these with his attorney because these are all issues that change the legal processes and motions to be submitted to the court.


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