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Have a question about a paternity issue. can you help with…

Hi. Have a question...

Hi. Have a question about a paternity issue. can you help with that?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?

No, the short of where we are at is.. I had a one night stand with a gal i worked with. she quit her job and moved across the country. 10 years later now she applied for unemployment in Missouri (im in utah) and they asked if she knew who may be the father. she named me. the case got xferred to utah dcfs from missouri dfs. i got a letter in the mail saying i have an appt in a few days.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer about this yet?

Not really. just one in missouri that said not to respond to missouri and that if it got xferred here in utah to get one a tthat tiime

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Answered in 4 hours by:
4/16/2018
LegalEase101
LegalEase101, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,827
Experience: Lawyer
Verified
Hi, I practice family law, and I'd be happy to assist you. What is your question about your paternity issue?
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I want to know how to get the state uninvolved. I don't want to deal with DCFS at all. I emailed the mother and she said she still doesn't want anything to do with me. She said she just filed for state assistance and had to name someone as the father to get the assistance and didn't care about me being around. But now the state is after me and a major storm is coming for all the obvious reasons. 10 years later, I've got a wife now, kids of my own, and a stressful/straight commission sales job. $500-$600 in support a month will destroy me. It will force me to sell my home and will cause major marriage issues. We can't afford it. I work a straight commission job in a stagnant market right now, and no relief in sight. We are running out of money. The mother in this case says she still doesn't want me around still, yet it's going to cost me everything... Do I have to cooperate with DCFS and the paternity test? I've never met the kid, I've known the mom for maybe a few hours, and after 10 years of not being around, what are the odds DCFS will pursue a civil trial for mandatory paternity or a default judgement if I refuse to cooperate? All the paperwork for DCFS states it's 100% voluntary to submit dna (civil) yet if I don't submit dna I could be in trouble legally (criminal). Why then would give them evidence against myself? I've heard the court sometimes in circumstances such as this, where not established to be dad, not on birth cert, parents don't get along, dad never been in child's life, neither party wants anything to do with the other, dcfs spending money and going across the country between agencies .. that the DCFS will say taking this to court is too expensive if I'm not cooperating, and won't result in a positive outcome and will drop it, simply awarding the mom the assistance, and keeping me out of the picture. What are the odds of that happening?
I have seen many of these cases. Basically, if the mother is getting government assistance, she is forced to cooperate with them in naming the father. If you are named as the putative father, you have to cooperate with DNA testing. The court can put you in jail if you fail to cooperate. They just don't give you any other choice.
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The odds of them dropping it are slim to none, in my experience. They work between states with no problem.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Please know I really appreciate your help. I'm not attacking you, just want info. Thanks for answering my questions. I'm just frustrated with the situation, like standing on the deck of the Titanic watching the iceberg get closer and closer... Can you please explain why on all the paper work the word "voluntary" is everywhere on all the info I've read and on all the forms I would have to sign if it can lead to jail, warrants, fines, etc? It says dna submission is voluntary, however if I supply dna they will use it against me in court. That totally contradicts the 5th amendment. How does the process cross over from civil to criminal?
It says "voluntary" because a case hasn't been filed yet. They are trying to handle this with your cooperation at this point, without going to court. If, however, you don't voluntartily submit to the testing, a paternity case will result.
Then the court will order you to submit to DNA testing. If you refuse, the court can hold you in contempt, which can result in jail time.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Let me know if I've got this right.. If I dont go to the DCFS paternity test, then they will pass it to a court which will order the same test, and if I dont show to THAT test then I could be held in contempt. Is that correct? If that is correct is there anything that can happen between now and a court ordered test that would be detrimental? Is there something that could happen that would be favorable?
I apologize for the delay in responding. Yes, your understanding is correct. They are attempting to get you to make a voluntary admission of paternity first of all, but if you deny that you're the father, or if you just ignore them, they will file a paternity action with the court, naming you as the putative father. Then the judge can/will order you to submit to paternity testing. As far as anything favorable or detrimental happening between now and a court ordered DNA test, there is really nothing that could happen. Other men could enter the picture, of course, if the mother names additional putative fathers. That would likely not remove you from the picture, however, but rather simply add them as additional putative fathers.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Ok. thanks for the info.. 2 last questions.. 1) Is there a reason anyone in my shoes would actually go the voluntary route? Seems like if I submit my DNA voluntarily, I waive a lot of rights and privileges afforded in due process, including the right to not self incriminate as they would use the DNA results as evidence (turning a civil suit to a criminal suit meaning jail time, etc)?2) I'm not on the birth certificate. This has been dormant for 10 years. There is no proof right now the child is mine. There was another guy she was sleeping with at the time (reasonable doubt). The mother doesn't want me around at all, she just applied for state assistance. There was no relationship. There is no proof of anything. Could a judge look at this at the time of deciding if there is a "preponderance of evidence" to order the paternity test, look at how little there is to go off of, and say there isn't enough here to proceed and dismiss this case? What are the odds?Thanks for answering these. Im just getting conflicting info, and what you are saying is making way more sense than the other atty i talked to in missouri in the beginning.
Sometimes the man will be 100% certain he is the father, and will voluntarily agree to paternity. Then his name will go on the birth certificate without a court proceeding. Any man who has been named as the father and who has any doubts whatsoever about paternity will have his mind put at ease by having genetic testing done. Once paternity is established, either voluntarily or via a court proceeding, an order for child support will be entered and it will last until the child is of the age of majority. That is a long time, especially if doubts are present.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Ok. And the answer to the 2nd question?
Regarding the second question, in a paternity matter that becomes a court case (and it will become such unless the putative father voluntarily admits paternity) your only two options are to admit you are the father (which will result in the court ordering that your name be entered as the father on the child's birth certificate), or deny you are the father, which results in the court ordering genetic testing (positive result, your name goes on the birth certificate, negative result, you are dismissed from the case). In other words, if there is a paternity case filed against you, the only way you can refute it is through genetic testing, not by alleging there was no relationship. In other words, you can demonstrate to the court that there was no relationship with the mother, but only through a negative DNA test result. Think of it this way: many, many men deny that they are the father of childen involved in paternity cases. The law doesn't make proof of the existence or non-existence of a "relationship" the deciding factor as to paternity. Only a DNA test is determinative of that issue. Does that make sense?
LegalEase101
LegalEase101, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,827
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Absolutely. Thank you for diving into that with me and answering questions. Honestly, Im not excited to deal with the mom, but I do have a pretty strong family and sense of family relationship. Between my parents Ive seen 5 divorces and was in the middle of 2 nasty divorces with parents using kids to manipulate one another, and use as leverage. It has scarred me for life, and I simply dont want to ever put a kid in that situation. My dad finally left the picture when I was eight and that is when I got help and things got better. The mom isnt a bad mom, we just dont get along. And, granted there are many differences with me growing up vs this current situation, I would feel horrible if dealing with the mom impacted the girl in a bad way. Wouldnt wish it on any one.I was just getting bad advice from several different sources that were mixing facts with agendas, and needed to to get the info straight to make a decision i felt informed on. So thanks for taking the time to do that. Its made a big difference and I feel a lot better.
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