What To Do When You Know You Are Not the Father

 Posted on November 30, 2023 in Family Law

DuPage County child custody lawyerAs the presumed father, discovering that you are not the biological father of your child can be devastating. You have been paying for the child, helping to raise the child, and have grown to love this child. The news may be too much to bear, and you decide to file for divorce. However, you still feel connected to the child, but what rights do you reasonably have? You will need a skilled divorce and child custody attorney to help with what is to come.

How To Maintain a Relationship With The Child

In Illinois, you are considered the presumed father if your wife gives birth and:

  • You acknowledged paternity in writing (birth certificate)
  • You acknowledged paternity through actions (openly stating you are the father)

If you choose to divorce your wife after finding out that the child is not biologically yours, a judge will make a decision based on their discretion regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities and child support. A man court-ordered to pay child support is considered the biological father of the child in question. As such, you maintain legal rights as if you were the biological father and can maintain a relationship with your child so long as the judge does not find any reason that you pose a physical, mental, or emotional threat to the child.

DNA Shows I Am Not The Father. Do I Still Have To Pay Child Support?

When a court orders you to pay child support, you are on the hook for child support. Failure to do so can have far-reaching repercussions. You can find an attorney with experience in these kinds of cases. You can have the attorney make a request to the court for an official DNA test and disavow the child if the DNA test determines you are not the biological father. Failure to deny paternity will keep you on the hook for child support for the remainder of its duration.

If you suspect that you are not the biological father of a child, you should reach out to an attorney sooner rather than later. It serves you no benefit to wait for the “right time.” The sooner you do what is necessary, the quicker the court can process the case and have you moving on with your life if that is your decision.

Contact a DuPage County, IL Child Custody Attorney

Your strongest ally in this scenario is an experienced Hinsdale, IL child custody lawyer. They can help you throughout the paternity process and protect your rights to the child. They can also help with securing DNA testing to prove you are not the biological father if you choose to take this course of action. Contact the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio for a free consultation at the number 630-920-8855.

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