When a child is born between a mother and a father that are not married,
the child does not have a legal father. While the father may be biologically
related to the child, the father has no legal rights until they establish
their paternity with the state. This can be done at the hospital when
the child is born or at a later time. What happens when a father that
has claimed paternity for a child finds out the child is not biologically
his? In some instances, a man can challenge their paternity acknowledgement
in the court and remove their legal rights and obligations.
Paternity Denial Must Go Through the Court
When a man gains information that the child they thought was theirs is
not, they may be able to file a Rescission of Acknowledgment of Paternity
form within 60 days of their Acknowledgement of Paternity and must do
so before either parent has chosen to go to court.
However, sometimes a father needs to challenge their paternity long after
their legally allowed time to rescind.
When this happens, the father must:
- Prove that they signed the Acknowledgement of Paternity based on fraud,
duress, or under the impression that the child was theirs, and
- File the Petition to Challenge Acknowledgement of Paternity before any
court orders are filed concerning the child.
The court can determine that the man is not the father as well. When a
man chooses to go to court to rescind their paternity, they must do so
before the child is four. If the father can prove that they do not have
a biological relationship to the child or that the father was not involved
with the mother when the child was conceived, they are eligible to rescind
paternity after the four year period.
Filing for paternity can be a complex legal challenge. If you are seeking
further information on denying paternity, contact a family law attorney
at the Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to walk you through the process.