Contesting Paternity With A DNA Test After Signing Birth Certificate

divorce lawyer Daren NeelQuestion:

A man signed a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity admitting he was the father, though a DNA test was never performed.

He is doubting the child is his and the child’s mother recently filed for child support.

Is paternity proven solely because he signed the birth certificate and the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity or can he now request a DNA test to determine if the child is actually his?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Kentucky paternity laws where I am licensed to practice.

Generally speaking, when a father signs a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity and signs the birth certificate, he is presumed to be the father. The court will not require a DNA test if the father is admitting paternity, which is what he does when he signs those documents.

The father can always ask for a paternity test if he has reason to believe that he is not the biological father, but since he has already admitted paternity, the court will likely require that he be responsible for the cost of said test. Courts generally also place a time limit on these tests.

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The father should raise his concerns that he might not be the father at the first court date possible. He should not wait until child support is set before raising his concern.

I would advise that he contact an attorney in his jurisdiction either to secure a paternity test or even for the child support hearing.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Louisville Divorce Lawyer Daren C. Neel, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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4 comments on “Contesting Paternity With A DNA Test After Signing Birth Certificate

    i have similer situation i signed for a child at 15 and tryed a attorney paid $2000 15 years ago they only lowered the arears im still paying for this child at 50 years old just went to court in north carolina and the case is in conn takiing all my money after i pay the bills its not rite serching for help

    This case is disgusting. Get a paternity test no matter how much you feel the woman wouldn’t cheat on you.

    Supreme Court of Vermont.
    Dorothea E. O’CONNELL-STARKEY v. Gorden S. STARKEY.

    No. 05-166.
    Decided: November 30, 2007
    Present:  REIBER, C.J., DOOLEY, JOHNSON, SKOGLUND and BURGESS, JJ.Mark A. Kaplan of Jarvis and Kaplan, Burlington, for Plaintiff-Appellee. Marsha Smith Meekins of Roesler, Whittlesey, Meekins & Amidon, Burlington, for Defendant-Appellant.
    ¶ 1. Defendant Gorden Starkey appeals from a family court order requiring him to pay college tuition for Kristen O’Connell-Starkey.   In so requiring, the family court concluded that the latest amended divorce order was not ambiguous and found that, although it left the issue of college tuition open for contest, defendant had never contested it.   Therefore, defendant remained obligated under a previous agreement to pay 60% of the child’s college tuition.   We affirm.

    ¶ 2. The following facts are uncontested.   On June 5, 1985, plaintiff gave birth to a child while she and defendant were living together.   On November 28, 1986, the parties married.   In October 1993, when the child was eight years old, plaintiff filed for divorce.   In November 1993, the parties stipulated to a temporary child support order in which they agreed to share legal and physical parental rights and responsibilities.   That order established that the child was a child of the marriage.   On June 30, 1994, the family court entered a final order based on the parties’ stipulation.   The final order maintained the provisions of the temporary order.

    ¶ 3. In April 1996, plaintiff moved to Virginia and, pursuant to provisions made in the final order, defendant took sole physical custody of the child.   Plaintiff retained shared legal custody and visitation with the child during the summer.   In December 1997, defendant moved to modify the child support order, seeking child support from plaintiff because of her move.   The parties began negotiating an agreement regarding child support.   From a DNA test dated March 9, 1998, defendant learned that there was a 99% probability that he was not the child’s father.   Nevertheless, on March 25, 1998, the family court approved a stipulated settlement of defendant’s child support motion.   The settlement agreement contained no mention of the DNA test.   The amended order awarded child support to defendant, reduced plaintiff’s share of the child’s medical expenses, required both parties to maintain life insurance policies for the child’s benefit, and required defendant to pay 60% and plaintiff to pay 40% of the child’s college tuition, room, board, and fe

    I think it’s only fair that the courts do allow DNA testing even if he already sign the birth certificate, if the man assume he is not the father,a piece of damn paper shouldn’t determine that,1st of all he assumed that he was father,2nd how would he know if that woman didn’t cheat,so men should have all rights like women,no exception, if he’s willing to pay out his own pocket, who has the right to tell him know,that’s the dumbest law I ever heard of.

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