Attorney Jameika Williams Mangum

*BET aired its first episode of the ‘The Game’ last week. If you haven’t seen the first episode, this is a spoiler alert.

Melanie (Tia Mowry) decides to conduct her own home paternity testing by inserting a Q-tip into Derwin’s (Marion H. “Pooch” Hall Jr.) son’s mouth, and sending the Q-tip to a friend’s lab for testing.

Melanie receives the results via telephone, and informs Derwin that he is not the father of the child. Later, Melanie receives the revised test results. In real life, paternity testing is typically established in court.

According to the National Vital Statistics Reports (2010), about 40.6 percent of children were born to an unwed mother in 2008. Considering the statistics, if unmarried, it’s important to establish paternity soon after the birth of the child. A parentage action allows the father to establish a parent-child relationship. In Illinois, experts and DNA evidence may be utilized to determine the biological father of a child. Refusing to submit to the DNA testing may result in a ruling against the Respondent/Father. Once paternity is established, issues regarding child custody and support may be heard by the court.

In the alternative, an action may be brought to declare the non-existence of a father-child relationship. A presumed father may bring such action in order to terminate the parent-child relationship. For example, if the presumed father believes that someone else fathered the child, the actual father may now take responsibility for the child.

What happens in a situation where the test results show that the presumed father is not the father of the child? What if the father has been involved in a child’s life for years, and later it is determined that he is not the biological father? Although paternity testing determines the legal relationship of the parties, does a father have a moral obligation to care for the child he has been raising?

Jameika Williams Mangum is an Attorney at the Mangum Law Firm, LLC in the Chicago area. The Mangum Law Firm, LLC is a general practice firm with a focus on Criminal, Civil, and Family Law. For more information, please visit www.themangumlawfirm.com.

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Jameika Williams Mangum
The Mangum Law Firm, LLC
1600 Golf Road, Suite 1200
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
www.themangumlawfirm.com
(847) 701-4LAW (4529) office
(847) 531-4888 fax