Devon James Files Paternity Action against Golfer Tiger Woods

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By Kamika Dunlap on June 22, 2010 12:34 PM

Establishing a championship winning game at the U.S. Open this week in Pebble Beach may be the least of worries for golfer Tiger Woods.

Porn star and alleged mistress Devon James has filed a paternity action suit to prove golfer Tiger Woods, 34, is the father of her nine-year-old son, Austin Brinling, Radar online reports.

The court papers are a way to legally establish who is the father of the child and ascertain parental responsibility and child support of the minor.

According to court papers filed, Devon James is requesting for a judge to name Woods, 34, as the legal father of Brinling. The papers were filed using James' real name, Melinda Jannette, and Tiger's legal name, Elderick Woods.

Apparently, James has been trying to get a DNA test for the child, who is currently in the custody of James' mother Sandra Brinling.

In general, paternity refers to the legal establishment of who is the father of a child.

While the identity of a child's biological mother is usually by nature easy to establish, the father's identity may in some cases be uncertain.

Paternity issues often arise in cases involving child support, but they can also be important in relation to adoption, inheritance, custody and visitation, health care, and other issues.

Also, establishing paternity isn't as easy as you might think.

An action to establish paternity is a civil proceeding. Most states require that paternity be established by a "preponderance of the evidence," which means that it must be more likely than not that the man is the father of the child.

Other states, like New York, apply a higher standard, requiring clear and convincing evidence of paternity. In reality, however, the different standards have little practical impact in light of recent developments in scientific testing.

James filed a handwritten petition under the name Melinda Jannette with the 12th Circuit Court in Manatee County, Fla.

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