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What can Washington DC dads learn from the Dali paternity case?

Establishing paternity is not always an easy task. This was highlighted by the Dali paternity case, currently making its way through courts in Madrid. The case involves a woman that claims the famous surrealist painter was her father. In order to support these claims, she needs to undergo DNA testing.

There’s only one catch: Dali has been dead for almost three decades.

Clearly, this is an extreme example of paternity issues. In order to confirm parentage, the presumed daughter must have Dali’s body exhumed to gather DNA from his bones. Although extreme, it does call attention to the difficulties that are inherent with the process. Fathers who are attempting to maintain legal rights afforded to parents can face serious obstacles. However, it is a very important process for those who are attempting to retain or gain custody rights of their children. 

Paternity and Washington D.C. law: How is it done?

Family law matters, like paternity, are creatures of state law. As such, for matters in Washington D.C. state law applies.

There are a three main ways to establish paternity in Washington D.C., as noted by the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. If the parents are married at the time the child is born, there is generally an automatic presumption of parentage. If not, a mother and father can voluntarily sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity.

If neither of these is present, paternity can be established by a voluntary test or court order. The father and child can undergo DNA testing to confirm the relationship. This can be as simple as a cheek swab. If there is an issue getting a parent to agree to the parental relationship, the court can order the test.

Do I really need this to gain custody of my children?

It is very important to have clear paternity established when attempting to gain custody of your children. The process is relatively simple and can help to avoid additional headaches during child custody negotiations.

An attorney can help you establish paternity. This legal professional can guide you through the necessary steps and help to build a case to better ensure the interests of you and your children are preserved. 

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