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PA Paternity- A Proposed Multi-Factor Test

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Court decisions have left many questions on how and when paternity should be determined

By Attorney Jeffrey B. Engle, Paternity Lawyer, Harrisburg, PA

We have previously examined DNA testing for paternity, paternity by estoppel and presumptions of paternity.  There may also be fraud and conduct inquiries to be made.  Essentially, where a mother misrepresents the origination of the child to father.  These many areas of contemplation for a father and the courts, have left many scholars to ask- should a multi-factor test be instituted to provide guidance?  This article examines what such test should look like.

Other areas of family law have tests to determine how resources are to be allocated, such as support, alimony and equitable distribution.  Why not the establishment of paternity?  There are limits placed on current case law based upon ever-evolving fact patterns.

Factors should include:

The results of a properly conducted DNA test- A 'take-at-home' test from the drug store may not have the same weight due to chain of custody issues:

The relationship between the child and the men involved;

The pattern of custody and domicile of the child;

The attachment of the child to the parties;

The emotional/psychological ties of the child to the parties;

The length of time the child and the parties have had a relationship;

The bond between the child and the parties; and

The actions of the parties both before and after they determined the nature of the true paternal relationship.

If you have questions or concerns regarding Paternity, custody, support or some other related family law issue, contact the experienced team at Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us today.

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