Tennessee residents might find themselves in situations where a child’s paternity is called into question. Whether a person is attempting to establish paternity or to challenge a previous ruling of paternity, there are repercussions that will affect both parents and the child involved.

There are many reasons why parents file suit to establish or challenge paternity, but the process to do so and the repercussions involved are very similar. Once a court establishes paternity, there are certain legal responsibilities that then must be met, such as child custody and support. Additionally, paternity also serves to allow the mother and child access to the father’s medical history to determine any condition that might be hereditary.

To establish paternity, scientific tests are normally used. However, these tests, while highly accurate, can also yield erroneous results. To challenge paternity that has been previously established, a person must not only use blood and DNA tests but must also provide proof that the results were tainted or manipulated, that the lab doing the tests had previous issues, that there is proven infertility or sterility or, in the case of married couples, of the mother’s infidelity. Legislation differs slightly from state to state as well as in the process of establishing or challenging paternity. However, DNA and blood tests, as well as, in some courts, the amount of time the child has believed a certain person to be the father, are taken into consideration for the process.

Where paternity issues are concerned, all parties involved might be highly emotional. In those cases, a parent might find the assistance of a lawyer reassuring in dealing with the legalities and the effects of the process.