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What is mistaken paternity?

There are many reasons why mothers and fathers take steps to prove a man is the father of a child. A mother may be seeking child support and needs to establish paternity so the state can take action to secure these funds. A father may seek paternity as a measure to obtain a relationship with a child. In contrast, there are also reasons to contest or challenge paternity. A man may want to avoid such financial obligations by proving that he is not the father. A mother may also challenge it when she believes that someone else is the actual father.

What is mistaken paternity? This occurs when someone asserts that they are not the father of a child as a means to terminate the parent-child relationship and the obligation to pay child support. In order to establish whether there has been a mistaken paternity, a genetic test will be necessary. Tests must be completed by an accredited lab.

If genetic tests show that the legal father is not the biological father of the child, the court may terminate the parent-child relationship and support obligations. However, one should note that the man still may be responsible for any unpaid child support and interests accrued up to the termination date. If a final order is issued to terminate the parent-child relationship, the obligations to pay future support ends then. This does not eliminate past due support.

Paternity mattes can be complex, as money is involved. If one does not believe he is the father of a child, he may take steps to avoid paying financial support for a child he believes is not his. Even if child support has been paid for some time, it is possible to end this obligation by proving that someone else is the biological father. The process can take time and can be stressful, making it important to consider you rights and options in the matter.

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