It recently came to light that a woman has filed a lawsuit against NBA legend Michael Jordan. The suit claims that Jordan is the biological father of the woman's now 16-year-old son. In addition to requesting that the retired basketball player's paternity be established once and for all via a medical test, the suit specifies-among other things-that Jordan should be responsible for child support. However, the Chicago sports star is now responding to these allegations with claims of his own.
In his counterclaim, Jordan cites documents that identify another man as the boy's biological father. In her 2003 divorce, the woman legally acknowledged her then husband as the father of her son. Stipulations of that divorce settlement included that the ex-husband would pay child support and have visitation rights to the boy.
The fact that the ex-husband retained parental rights to the child at the time of divorce may make it difficult for the woman to have her current paternity suit granted. In forcing Jordan to submit to a paternity test, the judge may actually be infringing on the legal father's rights.
Since a paternity test was never administered to conclusively identify the woman's ex-husband as the father of her child, doubt may continue to linger over the possibility of Jordan's role even if the lawsuit against him is dropped. This case is not over, and more compelling information may still come from both sides. Surely, a complicated and high profile case like this is a sobering reminder that every paternity-related issue must be taken seriously by both parties to safeguard against false accusations and other legal abuses.
Source: Huffington Post, "Michael Jordan Files For Paternity Lawsuit To Be Dismissed," Kate Brumback, Steve Reed, March 4, 2013