Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
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Did you sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity?
A legal document that says you are agreeing that you are the father of the child. It's used when parents aren't married and the father is willing to take responsibility for the baby. You would have likely signed it at the hospital when the child was born.
I ask because it's important. If you signed that, you would have 60 days to revoke outright it or two years to show that you were tricked or coerced into signing it and that you weren't the father.
If you didn't sign it, but you're on the birth certificate, you can petition the court to deny your paternity and find the actual father. However, there is a potential roadblock if the bio father is deceased.
If the biological father is dead, the court may in some cases require you to keep paying child support since you're on the birth certificate and legally the child's father.
Your best option is to find a local attorney who can look over all your documentation and determine if you have grounds for denying paternity. If the real father is still alive, your case is better. The state doesn't like to leave children fatherless. If you've been acting as this child's father for a significant time, the state may determine that it's in the child's best interest for you to continue to do so (if the biological father is deceased.)
Unfortunately, not seeing the child isn't grounds for not paying support. The two are independent. If the case has just started (eg no final order has been handed down yet), you can try to file a counter petition saying that you do not believe you are the child's father and ask the court to order a DNA test. This is where having a lawyer in your local area take a look at your case would be helpful.
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