Posts Tagged ‘Louisiana Paternity’

Fathers’ Rights: Putative Father Registry

Fathers’ Rights: Putative Father Registry

Author: Kevin Edler

Louisiana Revised Statute 9:400 provides for the establishment of a putative father registry.  This registry records the names and addresses of:

1.   “Any person adjudicated by a court of this state to be the father of the child.”

2.   “Any person adjudicated by a court of another state or territory of the United States to be the father of an out of wedlock child, where a certified copy of the court order has been filed with the registry by such person or any other person.”

3.  “Any person who has filed with the registry an act of acknowledgment by authentic act.”

4.  “Any person who has filed with the registry a judgment of filiation rendered by a court which recognizes a father as having, either formally or informally, acknowledged a child born outside of marriage and in which the father is adjudged the parent of the child.”

One of the primary purposes for the establishment of the putative father registry is the protection of fathers’ rights.  Fathers who file for registry should keep their contact information up to date with the Putative Father Registry.

The Putative Father Registry is particularly important in adoption cases.  The registry effectively serves to put the court on notice that the biological father has asserted rights and should be made a party to the proceeding before his rights can be terminated through an adoption proceeding.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article is or should be considered legal advice. The information in this article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship, and viewing or receipt of information from this article does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Paternity: Over the Counter DNA Paternity Tests

Paternity: Over the Counter DNA paternity tests

Author: Kevin Edler

It was brought to my attention this week that DNA testing kits specifically designed for determining paternity are sold over the counter in drug stores.  Maybe I am out of the loop, but I had no idea that over the counter DNA tests existed.  After reading a few online articles about these kits, I was quite impressed with the concept.  The kits require the user to swab the mouth of the child and potential father and send the specimens back to the lab in pre-addressed packages.  The results are returned via mail or at a secure online location.  Some manufacturers state that their tests can determine paternity with a greater than 99% accuracy rate.

Although I doubt that a court of law would ever allow these results into evidence, the concept is very intriguing.  I can easily see where a husband or alleged father who suspects that he is not the actual father of the child in question might find an over the counter DNA test useful because of its discreteness, non-invasive nature, and apparent ease of use.  The tests that I researched cost approximately $100-$150 and results can be returned in 3-5 business days.

Opponents of these tests point out that over the counter tests are not as accurate as the court ordered paternity tests and that the processing of the results is not monitored as closely by the FDA.

The purpose of this article is simply to inform the reader about the existence of this test, not to endorse or oppose the use of these products.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article is or should be considered legal advice. The information in this article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship, and viewing or receipt of information from this article does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Fathers’ Rights: Paternity Testing

Fathers’ Rights: Paternity Testing

Author: Kevin Edler

According to at least one genetic testing laboratory, a negative DNA paternity test from one of its labs conclusively determines that a man is not the father of a child (100%) and that the average positive test result indicates a greater than 99.99% likelihood that a man is the father of a child (Genelex Laboratories).  Sounds like pretty good evidence to me.

An alleged father can generally petition the court to order DNA paternity testing prior to a filiation action or during a civil action that involves paternity.  “[T]he husband of the mother, prior to filing an action of disavowal of a child born or conceived during his marriage to the mother and prior to the expiration of the time required to file an action of disavowal, may petition a court of proper jurisdiction and venue for an order directing the mother, child and petitioner to submit to the collection of blood or tissue samples, or both, for determination paternity for the purpose of exercising rights relating to the child.” LA-R.S. 9:398.2  “The alleged biological father of a child born outside of marriage, prior to filing any action to establish filiation of the child, may petition a court” to order DNA testing as well.  Id. Generally, once an action that involves paternity has begun, an alleged father still has the right to petition the court to order DNA testing to determine paternity.  LA-R.S. 9:396.

In light of the accuracy of the current DNA paternity testing, it only seems fair that someone who has doubts about paternity has the ability to demand paternity testing.  If you have questions about paternity, filiation or fathers’ rights, contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article is or should be considered legal advice. The information in this article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship, and viewing or receipt of information from this article does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Avowal Actions: A Father’s Action to Establish Paternity

Avowal Actions: A Father’s Action to Establish Paternity

Author: Kevin Edler

Just as a child may institute an action to establish paternity, so too may the father. The general rule is that avowal actions can be filed at any time. The relevant code article that addresses avowal actions, however, contains hard-line limits on the time within which an avowal action can be filed in two circumstances:

“If the child is presumed to be the child of another man, the action shall be instituted within one year from the day of the birth of the child. Nevertheless, if the mother in bad faith deceived the father of the child regarding his paternity, the action shall be instituted within one year from the day the father knew or should have known of his paternity, or within ten years from the day of the birth of the child, whichever first occurs.
In all cases, the action shall be instituted no later than one year from the day of the death of the child.
The time periods in this Article are peremptive.”

La. Civil Code Article 198.

The time limits outlined in Article 198 seem arbitrary and confusing at first glance. The Revision comments to this article, however, make clear that the intention of the legislature was to protect the child in instances where the child is presumed to be the child of another man by requiring that the litigation be filed promptly and in accordance with the article. For example, if Mike and Denna were married and a child (Ernie) was born during that marriage, Mike would be presumed to be the father. If Steve was actually the biological father of Ernie, Steve would only be able to file an avowal action within a year of the birth of Ernie. However, if Denna, in bad faith, deceived Steve regarding his paternity, Steve’s avowal action would be timely within one year from the date that he knew or should have known of his paternity. Steve’s opportunity to file an avowal expires when Ernie reaches ten years of age, regardless of his knowledge of paternity.

This article also requires a biological father to file an avowal action not later than one year from the death of the child. This provision is intended to place time limits on the avowal action of a father who did not attempt to establish paternity during the life of his child and who would likely be attempting to gain monetarily from the death of that child.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this website is or should be considered legal advice. The information on this website is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship, and viewing or receipt of information from this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Paternity in Louisiana: The Husband’s Presumption of Fatherhood

Paternity in Louisiana: The Husband’s Presumption of Fatherhood

Author: Kevin Edler

The Louisiana Civil Code contains very detailed and intricate articles that outline Filiation. Filiation is the legal relationship between a child and his parent. Filiation can determine the obligations one owes to a child.

In Louisiana, “[t]he husband of the mother is presumed to be the father of a child born during the marriage or within three hundred days from the date of the termination of the marriage.” La. C.C. Art. 185. A marriage terminates when one of three events occurs: divorce, the death of either spouse, or a “judicial declaration of its nullity, when the marriage is relatively null.” If a child is born during a marriage or within three hundred days of the final divorce, death or declaration of relative nullity, then the husband/former husband is presumed to be the father of the child.

So, it is possible that a child can be conceived after the termination of a marriage and yet the former husband is still be presumed to be the father as long as the birth of the child occurs within 300 days of the termination of the marriage.

The Louisiana Civil Code allows a husband to “disavow paternity of the child by clear and convincing evidence that he is not the father.” La. C.C. Art. 187. This “disavowal action” must be filed within one year from the time that the husband learns of the birth of the child or should have learned of the birth of the child. However, if the husband and mother lived separate and apart for the 300 days preceding the birth of the child, then the one-year limit to file the action does not begin to run until the husband is notified in writing of the birth of the child. La. C.C. Art. 189.

If the marriage is terminated because of the death of the husband, and the time limit to file a disavowal action began to run before the death of the husband, the estate of the deceased husband has one year from the time of death to file a disavowal action on behalf of the estate or interested parties. If the time limit to file had not begun to run prior to the death of the husband, then the time to file will not commence until the successor is notified in writing of the birth of the child and that the mother has asserted that the deceased former husband is the father. The successor or estate will have one year from that notification to file a disavowal action. La. C.C. Art. 190.

Generally, if a disavowal action is not filed by the former husband or estate within the applicable periods the presumption of fatherhood becomes irrebuttable. This means that the former husband will maintain the obligations of fatherhood, including child support, even if another man is later proved to be the biological father of the child. See Modisette v. Phillips, 736 So.2d 983 (La.App. 2d Cir. 1999); Smith v. Dison, 662 So.2d 90 (La.App. 4th Cir. 1995). Clearly this presumption of fatherhood of the husband can lead to harsh results. Anyone who has questions or doubts about paternity should seek legal advice from an attorney as soon as possible.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this website is or should be considered legal advice. The information on this website is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship, and viewing or receipt of information from this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.



Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this website is or should be considered legal advice. The information on this website is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship, and viewing or receipt of information from this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.