Paternity Challenge

Home - Paternity Challenge


A 3-Party Paternity Challenge arises when two different men are possibly the father of the same child. Possibly, the woman became pregnant after having more than one partner. Just as one bullet cannot come from two different guns, only one of the men can be the biological father.

Biology and parenthood sometimes lead to different conclusions. Sometimes there are one or more elements of deception. A love triangle may form. A marriage might break, or new relationships might emerge. One or more of the parties may be uncertain which man created the child. That might (or might not) be more of an emotional issue than a factual one. Sometimes the woman prefers one man over the other, notwithstanding the other man’s biological relationship.

Sometimes the child is a result of rape, sexual assault or even incest. These two men often find one another distasteful. But some families decide that is just how life unfolds, and completely accept everybody into a blended family. How are you going to work-out all the conflicts that establish a child’s parental relationships? By agreeing with everybody? Or by picking the most intelligent resolution possible and proving it in court?

There are many consequences to a paternity decision. Who will dress and feed the child? Which will pay child support? Which will remind the child to do her homework, and teach religion? These matters define the father’s future identity and lifestyle.

As each man forms an image of his potential future life with the child, each may back into a corner and decide that he has to be the child’s true father. But then the two different men may not agree with the woman’s choice, or the other’s choice. The courtroom is the only logical way to resolve these matters.

The problem dates back to the biblical story of Solomon, the wise Judge, where two different women claimed to be the mother of the same child. We do not actually split children in half anymore. (For that matter, the bailiffs do not carry swords anymore). A court weighs the facts and circumstances of each case and makes a decision. The consequences of such cases will change the child’s identity forever. It is important to get the decision right as early in the process as possible.

The attorneys at the Law Office of Stephen Gassner, APC have represented numerous litigants in contested paternity cases. Such are the stories we could tell about our clients’ dramatic lives. Incorrect paternity tests, incestuous relationships, incapable biological fathers, sterile husbands. We have seen it all. We have seen how these cases turned out, and we are highly capable of providing early and accurate advice to defend and protect your own rights in the process. We are prepared to respond whether the matter involves mediation, DNA testing, a short trial, a lengthy and detailed trial, or an appeal; we have successfully experience handling all of that.


The Law Office of Stephen Gassner represents individuals caught in paternity challenges.

Whether you are the child’s mother, alleged father, natural father, presumed father, putative father, or biological father, you have a right to be heard in court. Biological paternity is not always the way a natural father’s identity gets determined. Of course, we work with DNA testing labs, and of course, their scientific method is routinely accepted by the courts. But in many cases, that is not the end of the story.

DNA results could have been tampered with, the wrong children could have been tested, or wrong DNA samples may have been produced. (Aha! That’s how two different men could seem like biological fathers of the same child!) And sometimes, we have successfully argued that biological paternity does not determine the paternity outcome in court. Certainly, there are circumstances where a different man is awarded parental rights and responsibilities.

These matters can seem complex, but we are well situated to understand and explain the law based upon your facts.

If you are wondering which man is going to raise your child, or who is going to pay child support, wondering whether you’re going to be paying child support, or even wondering if you get to raise the child at all, whether there is a question of which individual to marry, or even wondering, as a potential grandparent or uncle, whether to start a college fund for junior, you’ll want to visit with us and get your family’s legal rights straightened out.