Custody


#1

My husband just found out that he might be the father of a 9 year old little girl. The girl’s great aunt has been taking care of here for some time, because the mother passed away. They are planning on having a DNA test done soon to see if my husband is the father. There is another man on the birth certificate but DNA testing has shown that he is not the biological father. If the child is proved to be my husband’s child through DNA, what rights does my husband have? He had no idea that the little girl could be his, but he is open and accepting to the fact that she could be. He says he would want the little girl to be happy, whether it is with the aunt or with us. If she decided she wanted to be with us, what steps would we need to take? How could we have his name put on the birth certificate?


#2

If your husband is indeed the biological father of this child, then he would be entitled to visitation at this point. Because he and the child are not familiar with each other yet and the child is already 9 years old, a court would likely start with small amounts of visitation and gradually increase time as the two become more acquainted. He can initiate a custody action against the person that has had custody of the child since the mother’s death.

If your husband is determined to be the biological father, he will also have an obligation to pay child support.

To update the father’s name on the child’s birth certificate, paternity will need to be established, likely through a court order, which can be done in various ways, including in a custody action.