Without Proven Paternity, Do I Have To Pay Support?

Question:

I was denied DNA testing for a 17 yr old boy and I never signed a birth certificate.  However, I am being ordered to pay child support. We were never married and my true paternity has never been established. Is this legal? What should my approach be in this particular situation?

 

 

 

Answer:

Consult with an attorney in your locality.  Generally, paternity must be established for you to pay child support.  Maybe you mean it has never been established via DNA testing.  Some states may permit paternity to be established without DNA testing where, for example, you have acted and held yourself out as the father of this child, or you have had a relationship with the child that parallels that of father-son.  If you have doubts that this child is actually your son, you can get a “home DNA” test from your local drugstore.  These generally are not permitted to be used as evidence at trial; however, they may be able to be used to support a petition for DNA testing.  You also may be able to depose the mother and ask her if there are other possible candidates for the paternity of this child.  There may be mechanisms in your state for the child to sue to know his real biological father (sometimes called “by next friend”) as the child has a right to know his biological and genetic future, not just picking the guy who has the most money.

 

Erik H. Carter is a Senior Attorney of the Cordell & Cordell, P.C. office in Indianapolis, Indiana as well as the Litigation Manager of both the Indianapolis and Pittsburgh offices. Mr. Carter has practiced since 1993 as an attorney. He is licensed in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania as well as the Northern District of Indiana and the Southern District of Indiana.

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