Nowadays, there are countless situations that can end with having a child out of wedlock. Some of these even include the difficulty of not knowing, for sure, who the father of the child is. Sometimes, you can have an idea, or maybe be able to narrow it down to two or three people, but other times it is more difficult.
Regardless of how many potential fathers there are, it is important, both personally and legally, to establish a child’s paternity. On a personal level, it lets you and your child know for sure who the father is, and this provides a peace of mind and closure that you might not get without this knowledge. On a legal level, establishing paternity determines who the father is, attaching the important rights and responsibilities of being a father to a particular person.
Unfortunately, in many of these situations, the men who may be the father of the child do not want to be proven to be the father. Whether it is because they do not want to pay child support or whether they do not want to know that they have a child in the world, they may try to avoid giving proof of paternity at all costs.
Luckily, in South Carolina, there are ways to compel a child’s potential father to give DNA evidence that can be used to establish a child’s paternity.
Paternity Established by DSS: Child Support Administrative Hearing
When a potential father is not willing to voluntarily assume paternity, the most common way for it to be established is through an administrative hearing with the Department of Social Services: Child Support Services Division.
The road to this administrative hearing begins when the child’s mother applies to the agency for a child support order. Because child support should only be paid by a child’s father, and should not come from anyone else, the agency will investigate who the child’s father is, often by interviewing potential fathers and asking them if they are the child’s biological father. Of times, those who are interviewed admit to being the child’s father, negating the need to get a DNA test.
Establishing Paternity Through a Private Lawsuit
Another way to establish a child’s paternity is by filing a private paternity suit in court against the potential father(s). If they do not admit to being the child’s father, they will have to undergo DNA testing to prove that they are not the father. In this way, a child’s father can be determined through a private lawsuit.
Unfortunately, filing a paternity suit can be expensive, as it includes the cost of having a private lab conduct the genetic testing. Worse still, these costs need to be paid upfront, making a private paternity suit unfeasible for many mothers.
The Family Law Attorneys at Elliott Frazier Law Firm, LLC Have Experience Establishing Paternity
The Greenville family law attorneys at the Elliott Frazier Law Firm, LLC have extensive experience finding a child’s father, no matter how hard he tries to hide. Contact us today if you need legal assistance.
Angela Elliot Frazier is a Family Law Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. She graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 14 years now. Angela Frazier believes in helping you through one of the most stressful times of your life. Learn more about her experience by clicking here.