When the paternity of a child is in question, it affects many things. Family law in British Columbia is clear-cut when it deals with a child’s paternity and the issues that go along with it such as child support and parental rights. It should be noted, too, that even though a man may not be the biological father of a child or children, he may still be financially responsible for them in some cases.
In British Columbia, the law states what a father is. A father was married to the child’s mother when the child was born; married to the child’s mother, but the marriage was ended by his death or divorce within 300 days before the birth of the child; married the child’s mother after the child was born and the mother acknowledges him as the father; his name is on the birth certificate and both the mother and he acknowledge him as the father; he and the mother were living in a marriage-like relationship on the day the child was born or 300 days before the birth; he has signed an agreement under the Child Paternity and Support Act acknowledging that he is the father. If a man denies paternity in these cases, the onus is on him to prove otherwise.
The way to do this is with a paternity test, which uses a blood sample. Yet, if the man is not the biological father and has been treating a child as his own, the court may look upon him as being the child’s father and as such may need to provide support. He would also have parental rights in this case.
Paternity and custody issues can be confusing and complex and a British Columbia family law lawyer may be able to provide clarification. A lawyer may be able to give a client advice when paternity is in question. A father has rights and obligations and a lawyer can explain these in a way that makes sense.