Since I missed a court date, I was deemed to be the “natural father” of a child that I never knew about. No paternity test has been done, yet I was deemed to be the father and now have child support arrears.
How can I get a paternity test done and submitted to the court to prove I am not this child’s father and I should not have to pay child support?
You should start by getting a paternity test to establish whether or not you are the biological father of the child. Most counties in the state I practice in (Michigan) have internal procedures for free or low-cost paternity tests.
If you are the biological father of the child you should contact the Friend of the Court regarding any child support arrears. Child support arrears can result in a suspension of your your driver’s and professional licenses and can put a hold on your passport.
An order may have also been entered to cover the hospital costs of the mother and other expenses associated with establishing paternity. You should review the entire case file to determine the extent of any liability you may have.
If you are not the biological father of the child, you will have to petition the court to discard the order of filiation (order entering making you the child’s father). This should be done as soon as possible.
The fact that you have had no relationship with this child and a negative paternity test should be presented to the court with your request. If the family court judge will not discard the order of filiation, you may have rights to appeal his or her decision. However, you should seek legal counsel for further advice on this topic.
Do not rely on this information as establishing an attorney-client relationship. Contact an attorney immediately for assistance.
Cordell & Cordell represents men in divorce nationwide.
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.