Denial of paternity of a child in Poland

Denial of paternity of a child in Poland

Denial of paternity of a child in Poland is the legal contestation of a man’s biological fatherhood. It can apply to both spouses and former spouses or cohabiting partners. Theoretically, this issue can affect anyone. Therefore, it’s important to understand basic legal information regarding the presumption of a child’s paternity from the mother’s husband in Poland, refutation of this presumption, and consequently the annulment of paternity according to Polish law.

Denial of paternity in Poland is proving that the person legally recognized as the child’s father is not the biological father in reality. Polish law operates under the presumption of a child’s paternity from the mother’s husband. This means that if a child is born during the marriage or within 300 days of its dissolution or annulment, it is presumed to be from the mother’s husband.

If a married woman, divorcee, or widow gives birth (in the case of women after divorce or widows – within 300 days of divorce or the husband’s death), the husband of that woman will automatically be registered as the father on the child’s birth certificate. However, situations arise where the child’s father is another man, such as the new partner of the wife, with whom the relationship began during the divorce proceedings (when the spouses have already separated, but their marriage has not yet been legally dissolved).

This presumption operates independently of the circumstances and awareness of the spouses regarding the child’s paternity, while paternity carries far-reaching legal consequences – specific rights and obligations of the man registered on the birth certificate as the child’s father. He is granted parental authority over the child and has an obligation to provide child support. The only way to refute this presumption is by denying paternity.

However, this presumption does not apply if the child is born more than 300 days after the issuance of separation, divorce, or the death of the spouse.

The purpose of a paternity denial case in Poland is to prove that the man listed on the child’s birth certificate as the father is not the biological father of the child, and therefore, the record in the civil status act is inaccurate.

Such situations most commonly occur when:
– the marriage is recently formed, and the woman gives birth to the partner’s child from before the marriage,
– during the marriage, the woman engages in intimate relations with another man, resulting in the birth of a child,
– the marriage is undergoing a long-standing divorce, and the woman gives birth to a child with a new partner,
– shortly after the divorce decree, the woman gives birth to a child whose father is a new partner.

Cases of paternity denial are handled by the Family Divisions of District Courts, according to the child’s place of residence. After filing a lawsuit with the appropriate court in Poland, the plaintiff’s task is to prove that the person recognized as the child’s legal father is not the biological father. Exclusion of paternity can be proven based on conducted DNA tests, which are the only objective evidence in determining paternity. Therefore, the plaintiff in the trial should request the court to order DNA tests to establish paternity.

The consequence of denying paternity is the termination of mutual rights and obligations between the child and the father. This includes parental authority, the child’s surname, and inheritance rights.

Our law firm successfully handles paternity denial cases throughout Poland (Wrocław, Kraków, Warsaw, Poznań, Słupsk, Lublin, Gdańsk, Szczecin, Bydgoszcz, Katowice, Białystok, Radom, Rzeszów).

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