When the paternity of a child is an issue, there are things that need to be done when it comes to child support. However, family law in British Columbia stipulates that even when a man turns out not to be the biological father of a child, he still may be financially responsible for that child. There are a number of things in British Columbia laws that suggest a man is a father of a child.
These things include: if he was married to the child’s mother when the child was born; if he was married to the mother and within 300 days before the baby was born, the marriage ended by divorce or his death; if he married the child’s mother after the baby was born, but she says he is the father; if both agree he is the father and his name is on the birth certificate; if he was living in a common law relationship with the child’s mother at the time the child was born or 300 days before the birth; if he agrees he is the father and signs an agreement under the Child Paternity and Support Act. If he meets any of these criteria and ultimately denies he is the father, the onus will be on him to prove otherwise. Legal advice may be necessary.
A paternity test is the most certain way to prove a man is a child’s biological father. However, even if he is not the biological father and had been treating the child as his own, the law may look upon him as the father. In this case, he may be obligated to provide for the child financially.
These types of family law issues can be very complex and confusing. The help of a lawyer is almost always necessary when paternity is in question. A lawyer may be able to more clearly explain provincial legislation that accompanies paternity issues.