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What Is Paternity Fraud?
Paternity fraud refers to any instance of fraud that is related to a court-mandated paternity issue. Paternity is often a major issue in cases involving child custody, visitation, and child support. Some persons may seek to engage in fraud either to avoid the legal duties associated with paternity, or to obtain benefits from establishing paternity.
For instance, when contesting paternity, the alleged father may make misrepresentations regarding their relationship to the child or the child’s mother. It is illegal to make such representation during a court proceeding, and can result in legal consequences.
What Are some Common Types of Paternity Fraud?
Some common types of paternity fraud include:
- Lying on a court application or during a court interview
- Tampering with paternity DNA test results
- Making misrepresentations while pregnant or during pregnancy (i.e., fraud related to a prenatal paternity test)
Also note that paternity fraud can also involve other parties besides the parents or the alleged parents of the child. For instance, if a doctor or clinical professional is found to be tampering with paternity test results, they can face consequences as well. Similarly, any witnesses who are called to testify during court may face consequences if they falsify their testimonies.
What Are the Consequences of Paternity Fraud?
Paternity fraud can result in legal consequences such as a contempt order. The judge may hold a person in contempt for lying or falsifying information. Even worse, criminal charges may even result, especially if there are major violations involved. These can complicate the proceedings and may lead to other types of legal action as well.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Paternity Fraud Issues?
Paternity fraud is highly discouraged and can result in legal issues. Also, it can affect the upbringing of the child in the long-run in negative ways. You may wish to hire a qualified lawyer if you need assistance with any type of paternity rulings. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice for your situation and can represent you during the paternity hearings as well.
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Last Modified: 02-27-2014 12:51 PM PST
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