Children born during the course of a marriage are presumed to be the children of the married individuals. Paternity often arises when children are born to unmarried individuals or there is a question about the paternity that arises while individuals are married. When such questions arise, the Family Court is tasked with establishing paternity, and does so by ordering the alleged parent to submit to genetic testing.
Due to the presumption that children born during a marriage are presumed to be the children of those individuals, it is important to carefully consider whether or not there is a chance that you are not the biological parent of a child. Unchallenged allegations during a divorce proceeding that indicate children were born of the marriage can result in a finding that the children are yours, and such findings cannot be later challenged. Once paternity is established, the parents can be held responsible for child support for their children.
It is important to consult with an experienced South Carolina family law attorney if you have questions about paternity and to do so before paternity is established.