My child is 2 years old. I signed the birth certificate. I am ever present in his life, financially, emotionally, and physically (as allowed by the mother).
Many years ago, you would have had a problem if you signed the birth certificate. Fortunately, a DNA test is much more conclusive. Both are evidence of paternity (or non paternity). The DNA test is given much more weight by the court. You should be in the clear.
If you are not the biological father, you should not have to pay child support. But you need to see a lawyer before you just stop paying,. If there is an order requiring you to pay, you need to have a court order allowing you to stop.
I agree with both Attorney Peppler and Attorney Mullaney. You should not be required to pay child support once the DNA results reveal you are not the biological father. Good luck.
B. Elaine Jones, Esq.
It is very important that you seek legal counsel. Once you have knowledge that the child is not yours, you have a duty to disestablish paternity within a limited amount of time (it might be as little as 90 days). Although paternity may not have been established, a support order has. To the extent that there are similar requirements for terminating support (unclear to me) you need to act quickly. I am aware, anecdotally, of an individual who is now represented on a pro bono basis who did not have access to an attorney due to his financial situation some time ago. Individual tried to disestablish paternity pro se. Individual was not successful. It has, by some measures, ruined individual's life. Individual's attorney is now trying to ameliorate this by lowering individual's support based on his inability to work (suffered complete renal failure), and related change in income. In my view, there are many others who do not obtain the results that they should because hiring an attorney is expensive and this creates a lack of access to the courts.
Please be advised that any answers or information disseminated above do not constitute legal advice and that the attorney responsible for this posting is merely attempting to participate in a Q & A session intended to be helpful but certainly not intended to be legal advice. It is important that you understand that no attorney-client relationship has been formed and that the attorney has no obligation to follow up with you with your legal issue unless you separately contact said attorney and arrange for him to legally represent you.
It depends on the facts and circumstances of the case. Signing the birth certificate creates a presumption of paternity. If paternity has already been established by a court there are specific requirements to disestablish paternity. If paternity has not been established by court order, and a valid DNA test shows you are not the father this should overcome the presumption that you are the father, and you would not be responsible for child support.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline