From time to time, new mothers in Louisiana do not know who the father of their children are. In other cases, mothers do not want to give the father of the child the rights that come with paternity so they deny the father by not admitting the man's fatherhood. This can cause a serious rift for the parenting relationship, but it can be mended and forced upon the mother through legal motions and DNA tests.
A new television show plans to let couples hash out the paternity battle on camera. The show will be called "Paternity Court" and will reportedly be somewhat like the daytime court shows that have come before it. The other half of the show will be the paternity test factor, a part of daytime talk shows that has gotten much publicity in the past. While the show has the word "paternity" in the title, it will not only address such issues. Other family law problems involving DNA confirmation will be covered, such as disputes over the estate of a deceased relative.
Hosted by a family lawyer that has been on several well-known television shows, it is unclear how realistic the show will be. Though it will likely be entertaining, some experts likely believe that it will exacerbate the issues between fathers and the mothers that will not acknowledge their parenting rights. Any setting in front of a camera, especially one with a national audience, will likely cause the parents to argue more, trying to prove the other one wrong for the sake of pride rather than for the sake of the child.
Though a mother may not want to allow a particular man to be the father of her child, the legal and financial benefits of having a father in the life of the child can be many. Remember that child support will be awarded to the person that is given primary custody. If the mother is the primary caregiver-and this is upheld by the court-then she will have some financial assistance for raising the kids.
Source: Broadcasting & Cable, "Exclusive: MGM to Launch 'Paternity Court' This Fall," Paige Albiniak, Dec. 12, 2012