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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years legal experience including family law
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My son was killed in a car accident before recieving the results

Customer Question

My son was killed in a car accident before recieving the results of the DNA test proving he was the father of my grandchild.... they say i have no legal leg to stand on because he did not legitimize that he was the father although he was in the process...... Do i have a recourse?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
Hello and welcome,

I am very sorry to hear of your loss. My condolences.

Since your son had not established his parental rights, you would typically need to have a DNA test performed to produce evidence in your suit that the child is your biological grandchild. Without that, you would not have any grounds for asserting grandparent's rights.

DNA may be obtained from relative including you to determine paternity typically, but you would need a court order if any of the parties are not willing to cooperate.

The state does typically allow grandparent's to seek visitation when one of the parent's of the child is deceased, so if you can establish that you are the biological grandparents, you would have grounds to seek visitation.

Here is a link that provides more information:

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Tina, the Dna testing results were not received until after his accident.... upon trying to petition for grandparents rights i am told that even though we have the DNA test , because he did not process and legitimize that he was the father , I have no rights. There has to be something I can do.
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
I see.

The court does need to enter an order establishing that he is the father. The mother has an interest in continuing the case as the child may be entitled to social security death benefits if he is proven to be the father. Is the mother not willing to finalize the paternity case establishing your son as the father?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No she is not..... upon receiving the DNA test i gave the Department of Human Services a copy of the death certificate , which they told me they would use, to file for my grandson to receive survivors social security benefits..... That was back in June . Sean , my son died on May the 14th i received the DNA in June. He is the one who filed with the DHS to prove himself as parent and to provide child support. She refused to submit for testing for 5 months..... upon a contempt of court order she finally submitted for the testing. Sean died fighting to claim his son and was never allowed to see him.
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
Wow, that is really tragic. I'm so sorry to hear that.

Before pursuing grandparents rights then or in conjunction with it, you would typically need to seek a declaratory judgment that you son was the father of the child. Since you have the DNA test results, a court should grant such a petition.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you Tina..... Have a most profitable or enjoyable night.....
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
You are very welcome.

All the best to you! Take care.