Skip to main content

My spouse and I have been separated 3 years and she just gave birth. How can I prove I am not the father to social services?

Raleigh, NC |

I have not seen her or heard from my spouse in 3 years , and she has just given birth . As we are legally married , social services has contacted me regarding the paternity of the child . I have been trying to prepare myself emotionally and financially for a divorce , and I know this could be avoided if I had done it already , that is not what I am asking . How can I get social services to stop contacting me , or begin the procedures for a paternity test ? Social services is leading me to believe they have to peruse me , as I am legally her husband . Is it enough for her to tell them I'm not ? My final question is , can I legally begin a divorce with all this going on ? I do not know where to begin with dealing with this and I want nothing to do with it . Thank you So very much for any advice .

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Since you are married, NC law presumes that you are the biological father. You will not get DSS to stop contacting you. They will file the action to establish paternity and set a court date. Contact the case worker to let them know that you are not the father and will be asking for a DNA test. Remember, she probably never said that you are the father, it is just the correct procedure to exclude you first since you are married and the imputed father. Don't think that there is necessarily anything sneaky going on here. You will need to go to that hearing and request a paternity test. There should be no reason that it is not granted. They typically can even do the test collection in court now. The results will come back that you are not the father and that will resolve the issue. A divorce is a separate action and you can file it at any time you choose. Yes, file it now.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

4 lawyers agree

3 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you Mr. Mcilveen for your very informative answer. I am so relieved to hear that I can file for divorce while this is going on, I am immediately. The DSS has confirmed that they will contact me soon with my court date. I feel like you really understood and addressed my questions. If I may ask one more, will I be charged the court fees for the case the DSS is initiating or paternity test fees? I have informed the case worker I would like a paternity test at the hearing as you advised. Thank you again.

Sean F. McIlveen

Sean F. McIlveen

Posted

You are welcome. Probably paternity test fees. It varies from county to county. I have even seen it that if it is positive, you pay, and if negative, they pay. There should be no other costs. The costs of the test are pretty minimal though and the best money that you will ever spend. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

Thank you so much I can't thank you enough for your time and advice. I had no idea what was going on, and now I feel prepared and confident. Filed for my divorce today and ready to get this all behind me. Take care.

Posted

Since you are still married (even though you are separated), the law presumes you are the father, and whenever a child would otherwise be a public charge, social services must pursue the parent of the child to support the child rather than the state supporting the child. The natural parent of a child is obligated to support such child. However, since you are not in fact the father of the child, you will have a paternity test done, such test will show you are not the father and that will be the end of this presumption and you will not owe any duty of support to the child. However, definitely go ahead and get divorced so this sort of situation does not come up again.

Any answer provided through this discussion board is a general response to the question and NOT intended as legal advice. Responding to this question does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Always seek the advice of a lawyer directly to address your specific circumstances.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

3 lawyers agree

1 comment

Asker

Posted

Thank you Ms. Amos for your answer. I have spoken to the DSS and the case worker was not able to give me a specific date yet. I am just going to have to wait to be summoned to court for that. If I may ask again, what costs will I incur for the court and paternity test? Also, I am beginning divorce proceedings today and very relieved this won't prevent me from filing. Thank you again.

Divorce topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics