One of the common issues in Pennsylvania custody litigation relates to paternity. That is who is the father and who has rights to seek custody. Many first time litigants assume that this determination is made through a DNA test that proves that the child is or is not the biological child of one individual or the other. However, that is not always the case in Pennsylvania. We will be presenting a series of blogs about paternity issues in Pennsylvania. The first question we tackle is whether it is possible to gain custody rights of a child that is the produce of an affair.
This issues raises the quesiton of the presumtpion of paternity. That is that historically, children who were born as the product of an intact marriage are presumed to be the product of the marriage. That means that Mrs. A is married to MR. B, but having an affair with Mr. C. Even though the child may be biologically Mr. C’s child, in Pennsylvania, if Mr. B accepts the child as his and does not quesiton the legitimacy, then it is unliley that Mr. C. will be able to intervene in anyway into a custody litigaiton.
However, this presumption has begun to change over time, and it is possible to call this presumption into question if there are issues of access or impossibilty. For example, if Mr. B was sterile or stationed overseas in the military when the child was concieved, the court would be more likley to be willing to grant a paternity test or allow Mr. C standing to seek custody of the child. However, if Mr. B and Mrs. A are presenting a united front, it will likely be hard for Mr. C to get his day in court.
If you have any quesitons about paternity issues in Pennsylvania, please call our Pittsburgh office today!