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Sam, Attorney at Law
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Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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In California. An ex-girlfriend of mine had a baby that she

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In California. An ex-girlfriend of mine had a baby that she said was mine (born FEB 2001). The baby looked just like me so I have been giving her $400 a month (unofficially) ever since. Almost immediately after the baby was born, she got a new boyfriend and has lived with him ever since. He has supported and cared for the child for the last 12 years. Now I am getting married and having a baby and I don't really care to allow her to keep "double-dipping" getting money from me while also being supported by him. My name is XXXXX XXXXX the birth certificate either. Is there any way to get him declared the parent by estoppel, or make him legally responsible for the child so she can't come after me through the state for child support?


Welcome and thank you for your question

I am an attorney with more than 25 years of experience and I look forward to providing you true and correct information in this regard.

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When you say "giving" her $400 a month - is that by court order? And you never had a paternity test done? Is she married to this other person? Also do you have any relationship with the child?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

the $400 a month has been direct deposited into her account monthly for 12 years. It was just a personal agreement between us (no courts involved). And we never did a paternity test. She never married the other guy but they resided in the same residence for the last 12 years and even received mail there.


Thank you. XXXXX suggest you can file for Paternity by Estoppel and have this matter ended.

That would mean that in essence the person who has resided with her for the 12 years, who apparently the child has a bonding and relationship with is the Father for all legal intents and purposes.

I suggest you can check with the clerk of the court and see if there is a pre form that you can fill in and file on your own - or you may want to consult with a local attorney to have them file a pleading for you. It may get involved if she does not want to agree that it is in the child's best interest to declare the other man the Father.

You also can simply just stop the payments and then let her institute some type of legal action - and use the estoppel to defend and win.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can I as an "outside" third party file the Estoppel or does that have to come from her? Also, could she try to "beat me to the punch" by going to the court to have paternity established before the resolution of the Estoppel? Or would it be that she would try to establish paternity and I would refute it by saying that she has been with and residing with this guy for over a decade. They just broke up, so I feel if I am going to do it, the time is now.




You may file it

And yes, she may file to have a paternity test request filed for up to 3 years after the child's 18th birthday.

Then, of course, you need to show that the child is also getting support from the live in boyfriend.

And if they just broke up, then you may be on the hook - because he is no longer in the picture - and the child has to be supported. In other words, the courts are not going to say "oh ok - you have been paying for 12 years and now no one to pay so let's put the child on welfare" That will not happen.

If the boyfriend was still in the picture, I suggest, you would have a greater shot at such an estoppel case.


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