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Are you a victim of paternity fraud?

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2016 | Family Law

There are many alleged injustices related to paternity in family courts. Millions of fathers nationwide, including some in Orlando, Florida, are victims of paternity fraud that has become endemic. While many fathers are obstructed from seeing their children, and forming relationships with them, others are fraudulently named as fathers.

Are you one of those fathers who is supporting a child with another biological father? Many men are not even aware that they are not the biological fathers of the children for whom they pay child support. Studies show that three in every 10 men who pay child support are not the birth fathers.

How does this happen?

With the paternity system as it is now, the state just wants somebody to hold responsible for child support, and once a person is named the father of a child, there is not much he can do to change that.

  • A married father is typically the assumed biological father of any children born to his wife, and he would likely have no problem with signing an acknowledgment of paternity at the hospital. However, he has only a specified time to challenge paternity. If, in time, he suspects his wife of having an affair and bearing the child of another, even obtaining DNA proof may be in vain. The statute of limitations may result in the court holding that parent responsible until the emancipation of the child.
  • Many unmarried women have children and then apply for financial aid, such as state welfare. An agency typically requires nothing more than a name to record as the father to open a case of child support. No proof is required to confirm paternity, and a mother can supply any name and address. If that address is invalid, and the man named as the father does not go to court because he never received the summons, the court may issue a default judgment. Oblivious of all this, the man will not even realize that he has mounting child support obligations.

If you question your biological connection to a child for whom you are paying child support, or if you receive a summons to pay support for a child of whose existence you are unaware, you may want to consult with an experienced family law attorney. A skilled attorney can assess the circumstances and assist with arrangements to prove paternity. A lawyer can explain the legal options and advocate on your behalf if the claim leads to litigation.