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The Times of India reports that paternity testing in India’s major cities is on the rise.
MUMBAI: It has been one of the original sins etched in the ancient testaments, but its practitioners are now feeling the heat, thanks to new age technology. Increasingly, Mumbai-based married couples who have had serious doubts about the child’s parentage are resorting to DNA finger-printing tests to establish the identity of the parent.
The state-run Forensic Science Lab at Kalina has so far received 40 blood samples from couples who are at war over the parentage of their infants. “We have been receiving these samples from police stations where criminal cases of harassment have been filed and also from family courts where there are ongoing legal disputes about the parentage,” FSL director Rukmini Krishnamurthy told TOI.
Mazagaon resident Praveen Salian is one of the many parents who went for the DNA test recently as he doubted that his two-year-old baby looked like anyone in his family. A radio officer on a merchant vessel, he had in fact separated from his wife a year ago, and filed a divorce plea in the family court.
When the case came up for hearing, the court directed the police to verify this contention by testing the DNA blood samples of the infant and the father. Salian’s plea was found to be true as the infant’s samples did not match with his own and the divorce was granted.
Legal experts fighting paternity suits say there has been an increase in the number of such cases — a by-product of the increasing marital disharmony amongst urban nuclear families. “The DNA test is recognised under the Indian Evidence Act, although it is not conclusive proof and courts still look at supporting evidence if the case is related to harassment and sexual abuse,” counsel Uday Warunjakar said.
Experts say there are two types of paternity suits filed where the DNA fingerprinting test are used. In the first case, a dispute arises over a property and there are many legal heirs claiming their right. “The legal heirs can be found out by testing the blood samples,” Warunjakar said. In the second type of case, which involves couples who doubt their spouse’s fidelity, the DNA tests are done after a harassment case or a divorce plea is filed by one of the partners.
This disturbing urban social trend has gained huge popularity in the west. According to the American association of blood banks, 30% of 3.54 lakh men who took paternity tests in 2003 were not biological fathers of the tested child.
But psychiatrists have a word of caution. “One out of every two case arises due to suspicion and an inherent martial discord between the family. If couples have doubts, then it is good that they conduct a DNA test. But the problems usually does not stop here,” said Harish Shetty, a Mumbai-based psychiatrist.
He says that couples should undergo proper screening and counselling before they undertake the DNA test. “There are other reasons for marital disharmony and they just find this as an excuse for separation. Even if the DNA tests reveal that the child is their own, things may not be the same again if ‘other’ reasons for disharmony have not been resolved,” Shetty said.
Multiple sources have confirmed that Arnold Schwarzenegger never asked for a DNA test to prove he was the father of Mildred Baena’s child. In addition, Mildred Baena has yet to establish paternity which typically requires a DNA test.
Sources state that Baena’s husband was out of the country when the child was conceived and that he did not return until shortly before the baby was born. In addition it is said that the child bears a striking resemblance to Schwarzenegger and to Schwarzenegger’s youngest son Christopher.
According to the American Association of Blood Banks an agency that also monitors DNA Paternity Testing, 3.5 out of 10 Paternity Test comes back as a negative.
Is Arnold Schwarzenegger safe to assume Mildred Baena’s child is his with out a DNA Test? Appearances can be deceiving especially when it comes to a persons DNA. Do you think Arnold Schwarzenegger should insist on a DNA test?
By Briana R.
Laws about child support and child custody are different from state to state all of them require that there is solid proof that a relationship exists. If you want to get custody of a child you need to prove that you are related to that child. Unfortunately there are still situations where paternity is “assigned.” Paternity is “assigned” when, a child is born to the wife during a marriage this is called “presumption of legitimacy”, and the husband is assigned complete rights, duties and obligations as to the child. In the case of an unwed mother, a man may come forward and accept the paternity of the child, or the mother may petition the court for a determination, or paternity can be determined over time by showing that a man has been supporting a child in the ways of a father.
Non of those ways of determining paternity actually answers the question about who the father is. Many states have started to in act what are called paternity fraud laws which give a man the chance to dispute his role as the father. Traditionally relationships between parties were often determined by what was “reasonable” to assume. With DNA technology available for widespread use it has caused a change in the way paternity claims are dealt with.
More often than ever before a large group of shocked possible fathers are discovering that the children they’ve raised as their own are not biologically theirs. The mental impact of such a discovery can range from distressing to devastating, there is additional emotional distress when the man who has been known as the child’s father suddenly understands that he’s paid years of child support payments, sometimes many, many thousands of dollars, for another man’s child.
A great example is the case of Bert Riddick of California. As reported in a Los Angeles Times story Mr. Riddick was getting ready to leave on a business trip when his fiance discovered a court summons. In that summons Riddick was called forward as the father of his ex-girlfriend’s baby. Riddick had to attend to business elsewhere and didn’t go to the hearing. On his return he discovered that his wages were already being garnished. He had fallen victim to a common practice of declaring a man “guilty” by default. Bert Riddick was declared the father because he had not proven otherwise. This ruling destroyed Riddick’s new family financially. The Riddick family was forced to rely on the kindness of relatives who allowed them to stay in their home, the Riddick children in a tiny room together. Though Riddick’s life had been brought to ruin and his family became destitute. A simple home DNA test eventually proved that Bert Riddick was not the father of the child he’d had his wages garnished for all these years, but it wasn’t until years later that the State of California released him from the financial obligation to a child that wasn’t biologically his.
Another good example is the case of Doug Richardson of Michigan who, paid child support for fifteen years on a child that wasn’t his. He paid roughly $80,000 in support. Mr Richardson claimed in the Detroit News that not only was he supporting a child who was not his, but he was financially supporting the child’s biological father a man involved with Richardson’s ex-wife. Mr. Richardson says he’s been tormented by this issue for the last fifteen years. Richardson was forced to file bankruptcy because he couldn’t pay his bills, back taxes and the penalties that go with them.
Fraudulent child support collections have destroyed the lives of many men. A dozen other states offer legal protection to men who disprove paternity in such cases but still others do not. In 2005 almost twenty five percent of the states DNA paternity tests done for children born out-of-wedlock proved to be negative. In Georgia, if a man proves that he is not a child’s father his child support order will be ended. Maryland no longer has a limit on how long one can take to challenge a paternity case, something a lot of other states are looking at seriously. DNA paternity testing is now an established and important legal part of many paternity cases in the United States.
If you have any doubts or questions about the paternity of a child you might be supporting look into your states paternity law and get a DNA paternity test. Knowledge is the best protection you have.
by Justin DiMateo
Smoothing things over can be an unpleasant task for many amateurs in divorce cases. It is a necessary task that many people are not prepared to face. Bitter words and harsh times can create even more uncomfortable, awkward and very tense situations for the parties involved and for those around them. Having a professional who can help to eliminate, mediate or fix situations and help to draft and create fair, just settlements can be invaluable to couples as they go through the divorce process.
Often when people think about family law attorneys, they often think of lawyers as seen on television who have sinister ideas and intricate plots to destroy the lives of their opponents. What you will discover if you spend any time at all with any attorney is that this is not the case. Most attorneys are committed to discovering what is fair and implementing a settlement that reflects this. Family law attorneys are not interested in taking a bad situation and making it worse. This does not benefit them or their clients. It also goes against the sense of fairness and equality that they fight to protect. A family should never go through a divorce alone, without the counsel of a professional to help them through what can become ugly situations.
This is especially true if there are children involved in a divorce. Divorces care become a bitter messes from the very beginning and involving children can just make the situation worse. Former couples can spend countless dollars and a great deal of time trying to decide who is going to have custody of their children after their divorce. Couples often forget in situations such as these is: what is best for the children?
A family law attorney will bring their expertise in these situations and past experiences in similar cases to help the family decide what is best for the children. A messy divorce, can create a tense and uncomfortable situation for their children. Having a family law attorney to help the parents through these troubled times can help to smooth the situation and create a fair and calm environment for the children.
Everybody knows, divorce is not a fun experience for any party involved, and that includes the children. A family law attorney can help the situation by bringing information, experience and fairness to the situation. This will help the ex-husband and ex-wife sort out their divorce and make the decisions that are best for everybody involved.
By Paul Boers
Under the Commonwealth Constitution, the Federal government has the power to make laws with respect to marriage. As such, the various States and Territories historically were left with the power to make laws dealing with matters arising out of the breakdown of de facto relationships, including parenting and financial issues.
In the mid 1980s various States and Territories conferred upon the Federal government the power to deal with parenting issues arising out of de facto relationships. Previously, contested parenting issues involving children from de facto relationships were dealt with in the State Civil Courts. After the Federal government acquired the power to deal with children of de facto relationships, all parenting disputes, whether arising from marriage or de facto relationships, were then dealt with in the Family Court jurisdiction.
Financial issues arising out of marriage relationships have always been dealt with in the Family Court. However, financial issues arising out of de facto relationships were historically dealt with in the State and Territory Civil Courts.
To add to the confusion of which jurisdiction to turn to in contested financial cases after the breakdown of a relationship, the Federal government established the Federal Magistrates Court in 2000. The idea was for the Federal Magistrates Court to deal with the simpler cases, whereas the Family Court was to deal with the more complex cases. Loose guidelines indicated which was the appropriate jurisdiction to deal with any particular case. However, those guidelines were not clear, and not consistently applied.
In late 2008 the Federal government passed legislation to amend the Family Law Act after various States conferred upon the Commonwealth the power to deal with financial matters arising out of de facto relationships.
This meant that any de facto relationship which broke down after 1 March 2009 would be subject to the new laws under the Family Law Act. Those new laws would treat financial issues arising out of the breakdown of de facto relationship on a par with marriage cases. Previously the economically disadvantaged party in de facto relationships usually achieved a poorer result in property settlements than in equivalent marriage cases.
This was seen as a sensible move as potentially de facto relationships which had broken down involving contested parenting and property issues could end up having parenting issues litigated in the Family Court/Federal Magistrates Court and financial issues in the State Civil Courts. Now all issues arising out of the breakdown of de facto relationships will be litigated in the Family Court or Federal Magistrates Court.
In a move which will relieve confusion over which jurisdiction in which to commence proceedings, it has been announced that in 2010 the Family Court and the Federal Magistrates Court will merge. The practical result of this will be that any contested parenting or financial issues whether arising out of marriage or de facto relationships, will now all be dealt with in the one Commonwealth Court rather than having to navigate the minefield of State Civil and Commonwealth Courts.
By Gabriel Adams
Family Law is the branch of the judicial system that was designed to deal with the issues that arise within the family unit or domestic relationships. Throughout the United States, it is the family courts that often have the heaviest caseloads, many jurisdictions tackle issues from gaining custody of a child to dealing with the proper procedure of finalizing a divorce.
Within the judicial system, family law extends from the wealthiest families to the poorest. No social or economic class is spared the family court system when any area of family law is involved. Below are some of the many different areas of regulation attached to family law:
When two people wish to get married, they have to go through family law to get the proper license to mary. This applies to civil unions as well as domestic partnerships. A civil union provides same-sex couples the rights, benefits, and responsibilities similar to marriages of opposite-sex couples. A Domestic Partnerships recognizes relationships between two people who live together but have chosen not to enter traditional marriage, common-law marriage, or a civil union.
Family law also deals with the legal issues that can arise during marriage. Family courts will step in when married couples physically hurt one another. Family courts oversee the adoption processes and settle surrogacy issues. Family courts have authority when a parent abducts his or her own child. Child abuse is also an important branch of the law that falls under the most pressing family-related concerns.
Family court also are where marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships are ended. Wether through divorce and annulments. Family courts will see that property settlements and alimony payments are arranged. In the United States, the responsibilities of the parents are dealt with under family law, such as custody hearings, visitation rights, and child support awards.
By Alvaro Castillo
Holidays are traditionally depicted as a special time of the year for families. They are suppose to be a time together. When a divorce or separation occurs, many parents and children find themselves feeling confused, disappointed, conflicted, angry and frustrated. During this time of the year, it is important to remember special occasions do not have to be emotionally stressful provided parents are able to put their children’s needs first.
Below are some pointers on how to make your holidays less stressful for you and your kids.
It is assume by the majority of people that the mother will be awarded automatic custody of a child, this is only holds true in certain cases – for instance, when the biological father has not been determined and the mother is fit to parent. However, in most cases, the truth is that whether the parents are married or not, they both have the SAME right to be awarded custody. Many courts do still tend to favor the mother for certain reasons, but when the child is between infancy and about 9 years of age there is still a valid case for awarding the father full or partial custody.
Fathers still have important rights they need to be aware of:
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By Alex Blake
DNA testing is done for many different reasons. DNA evidence can link an alleged criminal to a crime scene. DNA paternity and maternity testing can identify a child’s father or mother. DNA relationship testing can determine if two individuals are full or half siblings. DNA ancestry testing can determine ethnic origins and genealogical roots.
How DNA testing is done depends on the results desired and the samples available. DNA fingerprinting (or profiling as it’s also known) is the process of analyzing and comparing two DNA samples. Only identical twins have the exact same DNA sequence, everyone else’s DNA is unique. This makes DNA the perfect way to link individuals to each other or to locations where they have been.
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By Michael Cole
For many years now we have been hearing about how hard it is to be a single mother. They have to hold down a job, maintain a household IE cook, clean, do laundry etc. They in effect have two very demanding full time jobs.
I think it is outstanding that there are so many programs designed to allow a single mom live with dignity. They have access to free or reduced cost child day care. There is “WIC” Women, Infants, and Children. There are education grants,reduced cost housing, free job training, and the list just goes on.
Google “single moms” and you get 19,500,000 results. Lots of programs geared to the the single mom.
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