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How do I have my husband sign an Affidavit of Denial of Parentage while he is living out of the country?

Cambridge, MA |
Filed under: Family law

I am separated from my husband but expecting a child with my current boyfriend. I have recently discovered that in order for my boyfriend to be listed on the Birth Certificate as the father I have to file an Affidavit of Denial of Parentage signed by my ex-husband. However, the sites that I have consulted state that my husband has to sign this form in the presence of a notary, and he is a French citizen, currently residing in France. What can I do to file this form without the necessity of his physical presence? Is there somewhere he can go to have an official witness his signature? Moreover, I have contacted the Office of Vital Statistics and they cannot give me any information on this Affidavit. Where do I procure it? Is there someone at that location who can give me advice?

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

The French have a notary system.
I have had cases where foreign notaries have witnessed a particular statement.
The issue would be making sure that anything written in French was properly translated.

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Asker

Posted

This is a helpful suggestion. Thank you. Does that mean that I have to have the MA document translated into French and then have the signed document translated back to English? Or would my husband have to have a French document made up first and then I would have that translated into English? Or do I just have him sign the English document in the presence of a Notary and then have the Notary add an additional Witness Document (to be translated into ENglish)?

Philip Douglas Cave

Philip Douglas Cave

Posted

What I have seen in the past is that he would take an English version of the document. Sign it in the presence of the notary. The notary would then follow the standard procedure to witness the statement. I don't think you need the second statement. So long as it all looks and feels official.

Asker

Posted

Thank you again! This is very relieving news.

Michael L Rich

Michael L Rich

Posted

Right, as long as your husband and the notary speak and write in English, there is no need to worry about translation. You send the English document, they use it.

Posted

I agree with Attorney Cave. If your ex husband is willing to sign this affidavit, have him do so in front of a recognized form of a notary public in France and have him mail you the original. To make things smoother you may want to offer to pay the cost of the notary and mail. You may also want to contact the court to see if they can give you any guidance or a family law attorney experienced with obtaining paperwork from outside the country. Best of luck.

Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. (It lets us know how we are doing.) Attorney Kremer is licensed to practice in Massachusetts. Please visit her Avvo profile for contact information. In accordance with Avvo guidelines, the following disclaimer applies to all responses given in this forum: The above is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your advice. This is all extremely relieving!

Emma A. Kremer

Emma A. Kremer

Posted

You are very welcome and I hope this works out for the best.

Posted

The other counsel are correct; he can sign the affidavit with a French notary and mail you the original.

You should also consider getting a divorce; even with gin in France, you can get a full divorce with his cooperation and, if he refuses, still dissolve your marriage.

This message does not contain confidential information, is intended for the discussion of abstract legal issues, and does not create a co-counsel or attorney-client relationship in the absence of a written fee agreement. Do not post a reply to this message with confidential information. If you wish to communicate confidential information, you should contact me directly at karpf@vadimuslaw.com; I would be happy to offer a free consultation concerning your case.

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Michael L Rich

Michael L Rich

Posted

Though she may want a divorce for other reasons, if she is already pregnant, it does not help with the need for her husband to execute a denial of paternity or be formally adjudicated not the father.

Stephen Daniel Karpf

Stephen Daniel Karpf

Posted

Attorney Rich is correct; all I am saying is that she should not let his physical absence prevent her from getting a divorce. In any case, before going ahead, you should speak to a lawyer about whether a divorce is a good idea or not; there may be advantages to remaining married.

Posted

This may help or at least provide a lead: http://notarypublic.incentralparis.com/
US Embasy also has Notary Public services.

This is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should speak to an attorney for further information.

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Philip Douglas Cave

Philip Douglas Cave

Posted

Good point about the Embassy or Consulate.

Posted

The link I put below on establishing paternity, has a sample form Affidavit of Denial of Parentage. It seems to be a Mass. Department of Revenue form, in its capacity as the Mass. Child Support Enforcement agency. The booklet may be outdated in some parts. You can always contact the Child Support Enforcement Unit at DOR directly for their forms.

In the first part of your question you refer to your "husband" but in the body, you said "ex-husband". His denial of parentage is only necessary if the baby is born during or within 300 days of the termination of your marriage. See section 6 of the Parentage statute (MA Gen. Laws. chapter 209C), which I have linked below.

If you do need your husband / ex-husband's notarized signature on an affidavit, France does have officials similar to our notaries public who take oaths. If nothing else, he can go to the American Consulate or Embassy.

If he will not voluntarily deny his parentage, you or the actual father of your child can file an action under Chapter 209C. If the child is born during the marriage or within 300 days of the termination of the marriage, your (ex-)husband is a necessary party, which means that he has to be joined as a respondent in the case and served with notice about the proceedings.

NOTE: This answer is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your area who regularly practices in the subject matter which your question is about. You should develop an attorney client relationship with the lawyer of your choice so that your communications will be subject to the attorney client privilege and have the other benefits of a professional relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific matter as partially described in the question.

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Steven Edward Zlochiver

Steven Edward Zlochiver

Posted

I agree with Attorneys Rich and Pransky. In my experience, consulates and embassies are equipped to properly notarize such documents.

Posted

I disagree with the other attorneys. I don't believe that a french notary will be acceptable. I suggest that he goes to the American Embassy or an American Consulate. They can take care of this for him.

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Steven Edward Zlochiver

Steven Edward Zlochiver

Posted

As stated above, I agree with Attorneys Pransky and Rich that consulates and embassies are the appropriate venues for notarizing such documents.

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