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Child Support and Paternity Suits: Beyonce's New Sister

Paternity issues in child support matters are not uncommon. Beyonce Knowles may soon find out that she has a secret half-sister. Her father, Mathew Knowles, 63, is facing a paternity suit from 30 year old, Taqoya Branscomb, who alleges that Knowles is the father of her daughter. The child was born in 2010 in Harris County, Texas. Branscomb is attempting to force Knowles to take a paternity test along with requesting child support and attorney fees.

Beyonce's former manager is no stranger to paternity suits. In 2010 his announcement that he was the father to actress Alexsandra Wright's son ended his nearly 30 year marriage to Beyonce's mother, Tina Knowles. In February of 2013, Knowles' was ordered to pay Wright $12,000 a month in support. That figure was significantly reduced to $2,485, after claiming that his income had diminished.

In Pennsylvania, an action to establish paternity must be commenced within 18 years of the child's birth. If a child is born out of wedlock and an action for support is filed, the alleged father is named as defendant. The defendant may choose to acknowledge paternity through a verified writing. 

The defendant's acknowledgment is treated as conclusive evidence of defendant's paternity, and the defendant is held to be the biological father of the child, without the need for genetic testing. The support matter would then proceed forward.

If the defendant does not acknowledge paternity, the court can order the parties to undergo genetic testing. Both the mother and alleged father would report for the testing along with the child. If the defendant fails to appear for testing, the court may enter an order finding him to be the biological father.

If the results of the testing show a 99% or higher probability of paternity, the defendant is deemed to be the biological father and the case would proceed to determine the support matter. If the test results indicate that the defendant is excluded as the biological father, the case is dismissed. Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.15.

If you have questions about the paternity process and whether or not you could qualify for support, contact the experienced support attorneys of McMorrow Law, LLC at 724-940-0100 for your free initial consultation.

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