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Family law: Steps to take when a paternity test is negative

Sometimes it takes more than DNA to make a father. Sometimes a good father doesn't even share the same DNA with his non-biological child, yet still feels a paternal bond with the child. Family law in Connecticut addresses these types of situations.

If a man should find out he is not the biological father of a child he has been parenting, he, the child and perhaps even the child's mother may feel that he is still the father regardless of what the DNA says. If a man in such circumstances feels like he is in a difficult situation, there are things he could do to help himself such as talking to a lawyer about becoming the child's legal guardian. In the same instance, if the man chooses not to maintain a relationship with the child or the child's mother and was paying support, he could petition the court to get back any child support payments he made.

In pursuing legal guardianship of a child, a judge will make decisions based on what he or she feels is in the best interests of the child. In determining legal guardianship the court will look at such things as who would be able to best care for the child, what is the person's moral character, who the preferred guardian is for the child and parental consent for guardianship. The relationship between the petitioner and the child will also be taken into consideration.

As for being reimbursed for any child support payments, that is easier said than done, even if tests show the man was not biologically related to the child. The endeavour is costly and time-consuming. If someone is adamant about pursuing reimbursement, he should get the advice of a good lawyer.

The legalities surrounding family law can be overwhelming at times. In these instances, a Connecticut attorney would be able to advise his or her client on the process whether a paternity test is positive or negative. A lawyer will be knowledgeable about the paternity laws of his or her particular state and would advise a client accordingly.

Source:, "What to Do When You Discover You Are Not the Father," accessed Dec. 1, 2017

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