Presumptive paternity is the assumption that when a woman has a baby, her husband is the father. North Carolina law uses this as a basis to determine the legal parentage of a child.
However, Psych Central reported infidelity impacts about 24% of marriages. This issue could mean the husband does not have a biological relationship with the child, which could introduce some issues when it comes to child support and custody matters if the couple divorces.
Due to presumptive paternity, a married man will have all legal obligations as the father of any child born during the marriage. He will have to provide financial support to the child and uphold the child’s well-being.
The reason for presumptive paternity is to ensure a child has two parents to provide care. It prevents a husband from denying the responsibility of a child without going through a legal process to disprove paternity.
In cases where paternity is in question, the presumptive father can request genetic testing to determine if the child is biologically his. Once he has evidence disproving paternity, he can take further legal steps to sever his parental responsibilities.
Single mother situations
In a situation where the mother is single, there could still be a presumptive father. If a man acknowledges paternity and acts as the father of the child, the law can presume his legal obligation. Typically, this occurs when the father signs a document recognizing paternity.
Presumptive paternity seeks to benefit children. It also simplifies parental rights for fathers as they automatically have rights when they are the spouse of the mother and do not have to go through a legal process to establish these rights.