Can I get back child support I paid for a child that turns out isn’t mine?

divorce attorney Jill DuffyQuestion:

My ex wife is saying that a child that I thought was mine and paid child support for 14 years is actually someone else’s.

Is it possible to get a refund for the 14 years of child support I paid for a child that is not mine?



Your question is about paternity and child support.

The answer to your question will hinge on whether you were married to the mother of the child when the child was born. In Michigan, a child born during the marriage is the legal child of the wife and the husband, whether or not the husband is the biological father of the child. It is presumed, by the law, that the child is a child of the marriage. Upon separation of the husband and wife, a child support order could be entered for either party to pay for the support of the children born during their marriage.

If a child is born to an unwed mother, paternity can be established by the father signing an Affidavit of Parentage, acknowledging that the child is his, or by filing a court action to establish paternity. Normally in a court action to establish paternity, the prosecuting attorney will gather information about potential fathers and ask that they submit to DNA testing. This testing will either show that the man is not the father, or that there is a greater than 99% chance that he is the father.

Once paternity has been established, an order for child support can be entered.

At some point, you must have acknowledged that you are the father of this child; either passively by being married to the child’s mother, or actively by signing a document or being called into court. If you acknowledged that you are the father of the child, your options for now claiming that you are not are slim. Your first step should be to get DNA testing. If this testing shows that you are not the father of the child, you should contact an attorney.

Although I practice law in Michigan, I cannot give you legal advice without thoroughly reviewing your case. Do not rely on this information as establishing an attorney-client relationship. Contact an attorney immediately for assistance. Cordell & Cordell does represent clients in Michigan. Thank you for submitting your question.


Jill A. Duffy is an Associate Attorney in the Troy, Mich., office of Cordell & Cordell. She is licensed to practice in the state of Michigan. Ms. Duffy received her BA in Psychology and Spanish and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oakland University. She received her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law and graduated Magna Cum Laude.  

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One comment on “Can I get back child support I paid for a child that turns out isn’t mine?

    Can I sue the mother for the refunds of 28 years of child support payed to her upon finding out the child was never mind
    The child was born in Philadelphia
    In turn ordered the childsupport Florida in forced it
    Didn’t get a DNA until 28 years later
    The child was Never mine
    Can I SUE the mother to get my money back

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