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 .
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
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.
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Child Custody Lawyer
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.
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