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You can ask the mother if she will allow her daughter to have a DNA test done. If she refuses, you can file a Petition to Establish Paternity with the Court and the mother will have to allow her daughter to have the DNA test done.
If paternity is established you can establish a relationship with your daughter and get regular visitation with her.
The mother can file a Petition for Child Support in order to establish an amount. In calculating the amount of child support the Judge takes the income of both parents in computing the amount of child support according to the Child Support Guidelines. If you do not pay the amount in the Child Support Order, the mother can file a Petition for Contempt and if the Judge finds you in Contempt of Court. The Judge has the discretion to put in jail anyone held in Contempt of Court.
I am not trying to paint a bleak picture, I just want you to know all the possibilities, both good and bad.
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The mother cannot come after you for child support for the past 12 years.
If she files a Petition for child support, the most she can ask is that child support be retroactive to the date she filed the Petition. For example, if (and only if) the mother files a Petition for Child Support on May 1 and a hearing date is set for May 28; The most that the Judge could go back to is May 1, the date on which the Petition for Child Support was filed.
A word of caution, if paternity is established and you decide to give any money to the mother, please be sure it is by check or money order, anything for which you will have a receipt.
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