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Amaral & Associates, P.C. - Divorce, Family Law

Paternity Archives

Odd paternity case: Twins with different fathers

twins Odd paternity case: Twins with different fathers Odd paternity case: Twins with different fathers twins(NEWSER) – In just the third such court case in the country, a New Jersey judge has ruled a man is father to one twin while another man is father to the other. The children’s mother named a man, identified as “AS,” as the father of her twin girls, born in January 2013, when she applied for public assistance in Passaic County, the Star-Ledger reports. When she acknowledged that she’d had sex with another man within a week of her encounter with AS, a DNA test was conducted. It revealed what the New York Times calls “a tangled web of love and biology.” AS had fertilized one egg with 99.9% certainty; the other was fertilized by the other man during the same menstrual cycle. Judge Sohail Mohammed ruled AS must pay child support for only the child he fathered, totaling $28 a week.

Mohammed noted he found just two court cases related to the phenomenon, known as superfecundation, NBC New York reports. But it’s not … Read More »

Establishing Paternity in Massachusetts

paternity Establishing Paternity in Massachusetts Establishing Paternity in Massachusetts paternity

In Massachusetts, the custody of a child born to unwed parents is presumed to be solely with the mother of the child, unless and until paternity of the child is established, and there is a court order regarding custody.

It is important for both a mother and father to have paternity established, because without establishing paternity, there can be no child support order issued, or any order relative to custody and parenting time (also known as visitation), or any other orders regarding the child.

A father can establish paternity in Massachusetts in one of two ways. First, when the child is born, the father can sign a “Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage” which is an affidavit in which the father states he is the biological father. In this case, the father is added to the child’s birth certificate. In this circumstance, the mother is still considered to have sole custody of the child. In order for there to be a custody order, either … Read More »

Understanding Types of Child Custody in Massachusetts

child custody in Massachusetts Understanding Types of Child Custody in Massachusetts CustodyIn Massachusetts, along with most other states, there are two types of child custody: 1) legal custody; 2) physical custody. Not all parents understand the difference between the two types of custody, and it can sometimes be confusing.

When a parent has legal custody of a child, then the parent has the right to make important and major decisions in the child’s life. This includes where the child will go to school, decisions about the child’s health and welfare, what religion(s) the child will be raised in, as well as other significant decisions affecting the child. Typically, but not always, both parents share legal custody, which then is known as joint legal custody. However, in certain instances, only one parent has legal custody, which is known as sole legal custody.

The other type of custody is physical custody. This type of custody relates to who the child physically resides with. If a child resides with one parent more than the other parent, then the parent who has the … Read More »

How to Calculate Your Child Support

calculating massachusetts child support guidelines How to Calculate Your Child Support CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES CALCULATION CALCULATE 200x300Under Massachusetts law, parents who are divorced or separated must continue to support their children. In Massachusetts, a parent’s child support obligation is calculated based upon the Child Support Guidelines. The Child Support Guidelines are a set of rules that dictate how to calculate a parent’s child support obligation, and what income must be included in the calculation of child support.

The Child Support Guidelines often compare the respective financial circumstances of each parent and also look at the standard of living the child(ren) enjoyed while the parents were still married. In calculating child support, the court considers all sources of income, including salaries, wages, overtime, bonus, income from self-employment, commissions, interest and dividends, disability benefits, social security benefits, unemployment benefits, and many other sources. The court may even impute income to a parent, if the court believes that the parent is not working or earning income to his or her fullest ability.

A parent’s … Read More »

Massachusetts Woman Sues State To Prevent Rapist From Pursuing Visitation Rights With Child

By Jonathan Wolfe, Wed, August 21, 2013

In July, we told you about the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act, or RSCCA. The RSCCA is a bill working its way through the House of Representatives that would forbid convicted rapists of seeking custody rights to a child conceived during their rape.

Thirty-one states currently have no custodial rights protection for mothers of children conceived during rape.

Massachusetts is one of these states. The ongoing case of a Massachusetts woman identified as H.T. is becoming the latest example of why states need to beef up their child custody protection legislation against rapists.

H.T. was raped by Jaime Melendez in 2011. She was 14 at the time. Melendez broke into her house while H.T.’s mother was gone and forced her to have sex with him. She became pregnant and decided to keep the child.

Melendez showed no interest in the child until last year, when a judge ordered he pay H.T. $110.00 per week child support. Upset by his child support payments, Melendez filed a motion with a Massachusetts family court saying that if he should have visitation rights to the child if he has to pay child support.

H.T., distraught by … Read More »

Paternity Issues in Massachusetts

paternity massachusetts chidl custody Paternity Issues in Massachusetts AdobeStock 131997935 300x200

In Massachusetts, if a child is born out of wedlock, the child’s biological father is not deemed to be the child’s legal father, unless paternity is established. Establishing paternity is important for many reasons, and can be done in multiple ways.

The easiest way to establish paternity is when the child is born, the child’s biological father may sign a form known as an acknowledgement of paternity, in which he states and acknowledges that he is the father of the child. In this case, when the form is properly signed, the father’s name will then appear on the child’s birth certificate, and then the father is legally deemed to be the father … Read More »

Child Custody and Removal in Massachusetts

child custody removal divorce massachusetts Child Custody and Removal in Massachusetts AdobeStock 63850052 300x222It is not uncommon after (or even during) a divorce, a parent seeks to move outside of Massachusetts with the couple’s children. Not only does this impact the custody arrangement between parents, but it can impact the relationship between the children and both parents as well.

Because the impact such a move can have between children and parents, the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court does not take such a move lightly. In typical custody cases, where both parents live near one another, the court applies the legal standard of the “best interests of the child.” This means the court considers what is best for the child when it comes to custody and a parenting plan.

However, when one parent seeks to move out of state with the parties’ children, there is a higher legal burden on that parent than just the “best interests” standard. In such … Read More »

Paternity Fraud

I came across Sam Hasler’s Indiana Divorce & Family Law Blog and found an interesting post about the problems concerning paternity suits. Hasler has some interesting information about this “very large problem” that isn’t talked about too often.

He also includes some good articles from the New York Times and Men’s News Daily. Check out “More on Paternity Fraud” and let me know what you think about the issue!

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