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Understanding paternity fraud -- -- Part IV

Many legal cases of paternity fraud are revealed when a Texas father finds out at a later date that the child he has believed to be his for a long time is not related to him. In such cases, the father may consult an experienced lawyer in order to help him initiate a paternity fraud lawsuit against the mother.

A family court judge examines the evidence presented to determine if the mother has engaged in paternity fraud, but also to see if the father is eligible for reimbursement for the financial expenses he paid for the child as well as the emotional pain and suffering he has suffered.

Fathers' rights and paternity fraud have been the subjects of recent media coverage. Fathers' rights advocates claim that paternity fraud is a major violation of their rights when they are denied the opportunity to parent their children from the beginning.

In fact, many legal experts as well as the courts often find the mother to be responsible for informing the father if there is any chance that he is not the biological father of her child. Passing off the paternity of the child as someone else's is what makes the mother's act fraudulent.

Compensation for paternity fraud lawsuits is calculated on various factors. First, the situation of the mother is explored to see if she intentionally withheld the information that the child could have a different father.

Furthermore, fathers and their attorneys often file a claim for compensation from the biological father for the amount of money that the biological father would have had to pay in child support if paternity was revealed at the beginning and a lawsuit had been initiated by the mother. Some claims also ask for the actual monetary costs paid by the impugned father for raising the child to the point of the lawsuit.

Source: NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov, "Paternity fraud and compensation for misattributed paternity," Heather Draper, Aug. 2007

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