Parents play a crucial role in their children's upbringing. For some unmarried fathers, being acknowledged as a parent is important, and there are legal remedies available to them to prove their paternity. However, in some cases, de-establishing paternity can be equally important.
Former NBA superstar Michael Jordan recently won a battle in court but not because of his sport's prowess. The basketball legend won a paternity lawsuit for the second time this year after another case was dismissed.
In August, a 30-year-old woman filed a paternity lawsuit against Jordan, alleging that he fathered her 3-year-old daughter. Nonetheless, a prior paternity test had confirmed that a man named Hubert Henderson Jr. was the father of the little girl. The woman claimed that Jordan used that name as an alias, but the court threw the case out and ordered her to pay his legal fees.
Earlier this year, another woman filed a paternity lawsuit against Jordan, seeking child support. She later dropped the lawsuit, but Jordan counter-sued. He won and the court ordered the woman to pay his legal fees, which amounted to $9,704.13.
Paternity cases such as these can be complicated due to the possibility of fraud; there are also times when it is the father who wants to determine the child's paternity.
Determining paternity is important because it can help a father establish his parenting rights with the child and give him the opportunity to share custody and visitation with the mother. Additionally, proving paternity ties the man to his parenting responsibilities, including paying child support, which can reduce the mother's financial burden. A child can benefit from a paternity case because, in the event that the mother is unable to raise the child, the father may be available to assume parenting responsibilities.
Source: Atlanta Daily World, "Michael Jordan Has Second 2013 Atlanta Paternity Case Dismissed," Nov. 19, 2013