In British Columbia, it is possible for a man to be named the father of a child and burdened with the responsibilities even if he is not the child’s biological father. Men who believe they are not responsible for child support sometimes question paternity. Also, men who want parental rights to children they claim to have fathered may also need to prove paternity. Who is presumed to be a father under British Columbia law?
A man who was married to a woman at the time of the child’s birth, or he died or divorced the mother within 300 days before the child was born will be regarded as the biological father. This can be the case even if the man only married the mother after the child’s birth, but she names him as the father. By admission, a man can also be named as the biological father if he admits to being the father — regardless of whether the couple was married — and if he signed a Child Paternity and Support Act agreement upon the child’s birth.
If a man denies being the father of a child, the burden of proof is on him to show the court that he has no biological connection with the child. DNA testing is available for men in this position. However, if the mother can prove that the man treated the child as his own, the court may continue to hold him responsible for child support.
DNA testing is also available for men who want to prove that they are the biological fathers to gain access and parental rights to their children. However, if a man proves in the court that he is the biological father of a child, he will also become responsible for child support payments. British Columbia family law lawyers can provide valuable guidance to fathers who want to prove or disprove paternity claims.
Source: FindLaw Canada, “DNA testing and paternity issues“, Miriam Yosowich, Accessed on Jan. 14, 2017
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