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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36578
Experience:  Attorney with 16 years experience
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My brother married a girl after she gave birth to a child.

Customer Question

My brother married a girl after she gave birth to a child. When they divorced the papers say these two children born of their marriage. The child is now 7 and a man has stepped up and claiming he is her father and served us papers for dna test and rights. I have been paying hold support and have joint custody of both children. What are my rights in Arkansas? Can this man take this child from me if he is her father? He has never paid a dime and she don't know who he is. I am the only father she knows.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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Unfortunately under Arkansas law, (AR Code 9-2-10-1) it states:

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(b) Actions brought in the State of Arkansas to establish paternity may be brought at any time. Any action brought prior to August 1, 1985, but dismissed because of a statute of limitations in effect prior to that date, may be brought for any person for whom paternity has not yet been established.

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So legally if he is established to be the biological father by a court ordered DNA test, then he could file for custodial rights to have visitation or custodial time with the child.

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However, the court can also award the mother retroactive child support back to the child's birth and continuing support going forward.

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Even though he has known her entire 7 years of life he was the father and has had nothing to do with her at all. I have done everything and has paid child support since the divorce and I have joint custody of her. Will I even have a chance at getting my visitation rights since I raised her. I have supported her for the past 7 years. I am the only father she knows.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately yes. If he is the biological father, then his legal rights would be superior to yours. You can ask the court for step parent visitation based on the length of the relationship but it would be up to the judge whether to grant them or not because you don't have any legal connection to the child now.

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I realize that it is a lousy outcome and I am sorry that I don't have better news.

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Thanks

Barrister