It’s every father’s worst nightmare to discover that they’ve been duped into thinking a child is their own. Not only have you become emotionally invested in the child, but you also have been making child support payments based upon a falsehood. If you find yourself in this devastating situation, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of disestablishing paternity. It is possible, but not always easy, to free yourself from the burden of unnecessary child support payments.
Although you can continue to visit the child during a paternity dispute, it’s important to not discuss the question of paternity with the child’s mother. Carefully consider your words. Oftentimes, a casual text, email or conversation has been construed as an admission of paternity within the court system. Remember, there are different definitions of fatherhood that can be legally determined. If you express the sentiment that you are the acknowledged or equitable father, removing the yoke of child support may become next to impossible.
You must decide that you will pursue legal action quickly. Certain statutes may severely limit the period of time in which you can take action against the opposing party. Quickly documenting doubt of paternity, and taking the steps to establish this doubt as factual, will greatly increase your chances of success.
Although it may seem like adding insult to injury when you discover that a child is not yours, you must continue to make child support payments in good faith. The case to disestablish paternal obligations will most likely take some time to resolve. The child always receives the benefit of the law in this situation, meaning that the law’s only concern is that of the welfare of the child. If you stop making payments once a child support order has been established, you will be penalized regardless of paternal status.
Disestablishing paternity is complicated, emotionally painful and difficult to accomplish. You absolutely must have a legal advocate that can help you to successfully fight this case. An experienced, compassionate and aggressive attorney should leave no stone unturned when working toward a successful resolution to your paternity dispute. Ann A. Thomson’s Orange County office is poised to serve you and your family with any matter pertaining to family law. Feel free to contact us online anytime or call 562-431-4333 for your free initial consultation with an experienced and proficient California Family Law attorney.