Ask A Divorce Lawyer: If I’m Not The Daddy Should I Have to Pay Support

Question: My husband recently found out that his 3 year-old-son is not his. DNA proved that result. Can he be reimbursed for child support paid since their separation three years ago? Can he have his name removed from the child’s birth certificate? Or, if not, is there some kind of legal addendum that can be attached to the birth certificate stating that he is not the child’s biological father? Is he due any damages from the mother for her deception?


Answer: Your questions appear to indicate that there are not any legal proceedings pending under which court ordered paternity testing was conducted.  Unless the paternity testing was conducted under a court order by a qualified lab, the test results may not be admissible in court and the accuracy may be questioned.

Once there is legally admissible evidence that your husband is not the biological father of the child, whether he may pursue a determination of non-paternity and address the past support will depend upon how he was determined to be the father, the terms of the child support, and the laws of your state.  The laws of your state will also determine how the birth certificate may be changed if it is legally determined that your husband is not the biological father of the child.  

Your husband should consult a qualified domestic litigation firm, such as Cordell & Cordell, to review the history of your husband’s situation and his options. 


Richard Coffee is a Litigation Manager in the Belleville Illinois office of Cordell & Cordell. He is an experienced divorce attorney whose practice is devoted to domestic litigation. He is licensed in the State of Illinois and is admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Courts for Northern, Central and Southern Illinois.

Mr. Coffee has extensive domestic litigation trial experience representing clients in courts throughout Illinois on all aspects of domestic litigation, including the representation of clients who are current or retired military personnel with issues under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, clients involved in state court jurisdictional disputes due to the relocation of one or both parties from or to Illinois, and clients with government or private pension benefit valuation and division issues.

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