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Identical Twin Brothers Ordered to Pay Child Support for Same 9-Year-Old Girl

Identical Twin Brothers Ordered to Pay Child Support for Same 9-Year-Old GirlIn a family law case that feels straight out of a Lifetime movie, a Brazilian judge ordered two brothers to pay child support to the mother of a nine-year-old girl. The reason? The brothers are identical twins who used their resemblance to each other to deceive women, including the mother. Due to their dishonesty and the DNA issues involving identical twins, the judge came up with this unique solution.

How did they get here?

The Guardian reports:

A Brazilian judge has ruled that two identical twins must both pay maintenance for a nine-year-old girl after a DNA test failed to identify which was her father.

Each man will have to pay 30% of Brazil’s monthly minimum salary – around £59 – and share the mother’s medical, dental, clothing and school costs.

That would be about 70 US dollars, and the reason the brothers were forced to take a DNA test is because neither would admit to being the child’s father.

This dramatic and sad saga began when the mother met the father at a party and had a brief relationship. She stated in court documents, “He told me he had a twin brother, but I wasn’t introduced. At the time I didn’t suspect anything.”

She has a nine-year-old daughter as a result, and asked that the father take a DNA test. Per The Guardian: “When it turned out positive, he said his twin brother was the father – but his twin’s test also came out 99.9% positive, because identical twins come from the same fertilized egg and have the same DNA, the court said.”

Even though both brothers know the truth, they appear to be taking advantage of their nearly-identical DNA to escape responsibility, which is why the judge ruled that they must both pay child support.

Although there is a more detailed “twin test” available, it costs over $15,500 and may not be 100% accurate. The mother plans to appeal the decision, as she believes her daughter has the right to know who her biological father is.

Establishing paternity in Charlotte

Although the above situation is quite unique, the issue of paternity may come up in your life.

Establishing paternity means determining the legal father of a child. You may be a father wanting to establish paternity in order to spend time with your child and build a custody agreement with the other parent. You may be a mother who wants to establish paternity in order to secure child support for your child. Whatever your reasons, you have several avenues in which to establish paternity in Charlotte and throughout the state.

According to Mecklenburg County, legal paternity is established three ways:

  • If a couple is married at the time the child is born
  • If unmarried parents sign a voluntary affidavit of parentage at the child’s birth
  • Through a court order

If paternity is in question, either parent or the court can order genetic testing. Per Mecklenburg County:

Genetic testing is the process of comparing the genetic code of a child, the child’s mother and the alleged father to determine if the man can be excluded from being the father of the child. Genetic DNA tests are used to determine the probability that a man is the biological father of the child. Either parent may request testing, or the court may order it.

The process for securing genetic material (DNA) to test is really quite simple. In most cases, testing is done using cells from the inside of the mouth which are collected with a cotton swab called a “buccal swab.”

The Cleveland Clinic reports that DNA tests are extremely accurate and can report within 99.9% whether a person is a child’s biological father. DNA tests can cost anywhere from $60 for a home kit to $500 for a test in a medical setting. If you need a test for legal reasons, you will very likely need a medical test.

Benefits of establishing paternity

Establishing legal paternity of your child offers many advantages, including:

  • Child support. Both parents are responsible for the financial well-being of their child. As the County says, “Child support helps to pay for things that all kids need, like food, clothing, housing, transportation, school supplies and more. Regular child support payments often make the difference between financial security and living in poverty.”
  • Child custody. Having legal and/or physical custody of your child means you have a say in your child’s life, including decisions about their health, education, and medical care. It also allows you to spend time with your child and be involved in their life.
  • Medical history. Knowing the paternity of your child gives you access to their paternal medical history, giving you an understanding of any medical conditions they may be at risk of developing. A legal order of paternity gives the mother or the child the right to access this information.
  • Inheritances and insurance. Establishing paternity gives your child the same legal rights and benefits as children of married parents. These benefits can include the right to health insurance, life insurance, and named beneficiaries in wills and trusts.

Establishing legal paternity of your child can be a simple or contentious process, depending on your personal circumstances. However, the most important thing to remember – and the utmost priority of the court – is the well-being and best interests of the child.

For answers to your questions about paternity testing, child support, and other family law matters, talk to the experienced attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC today. We want to help you, your child, and your family. To speak with a compassionate lawyer today, call our offices or complete our contact form. We’re proud to serve clients and families in Charlotte, Weddington, Concord, and Boone.