(Antigua Observer) An order from a court mandating that paternity tests be done before the start of any child maintenance case, could clear up a lot of the misunderstanding that usually occurs in matters of this nature.
Monique Francis Gordon, a lead attorney on family matters, made that suggestion during an interview on Sundays Big Issues where a number of legal minds were making general comments following a case involving a father who is now taking action after he has been supporting a child that was not his for 15 years.
Before making the suggestion, the attorney made it clear that her comments were in relation to her knowledge of the legal system in Antigua and Barbuda and were not associated with the case in question.
Francis Gordon explained that at the start of such cases, it is generally determined that the male in the child maintenance case is the father of the child, if it is not otherwise disputed, and once that is determined the matter then shifts to support for that child or children.
“The general practice is that you are asked if you accept or dispute paternity and if you accept paternity, then a DNA test is not required. But what I have seen happening is that someone accepts paternity and then after a while they request it. However, the court would have determined that the paternity was accepted and it will not be done after.