Can I disestablish paternity? - Child Custody Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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Can I disestablish paternity?

My husband and I have been living seperate lives for the past five years. We are trying to disestablish him as the established father. Can we go before the courts pro se with an disestablishment of paternity affidavit to do this? If not what do we need to do?

Answer By Roy L. Reeves
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
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If you went to court and got a divorce or any judgment stating he is the father of the children, you cannot "disestablish paternity".

Once a court enters a judgment declaring a man to be the father of a child, it is binding forever. If there is no declaration of paternity, then the question is moot. However, if he has been declared father and you want to terminate his rights, that is another topic altogether and much like the custody hearing that started all this years ago, the controlling factor is best interest of the child. Why is it best for the child for Dad's rights to be terminated? Which by the way, also terminates duties and obligations, including the duty to pay child support.

Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 4/26/2011

Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
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You cannot "dis-establish" paternity. If he is the father, then he has all the responsbilities for being a father, such as child support, etc. Only if someone else is going to adopt the child or children will those obligations be relieved from him and he would have to sign off his parental rights to allow that to happen.

Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/23/2011

Answer By Maury Beaulier
Beaulier Law Office
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I am afraid that disclaiming paternity is not so simple. Limitation periods apply to such actions which may vary slightly depending on the facts of the case. However, without siome exceptional circumstances, paternity cannot be disclaimed after the child reaches 4 years old in most cases.

Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 4/22/2011

Harris Law Firm
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If paternity has been established through valid means, you cannot disestablish it. This means, if the father is indeed the father and signed the birth certificate, or a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity, or paternity was established another way.

If you believe your husband is not the biological father, you may be able to disestablish with a paternity test. If you are looking to have your husband's rights terminated in order for another person your adopt your child(ren), you will need your husband's consent.

Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 4/22/2011

Cody and Gonillo, LLP
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It sounds like you want to terminate his parental rights and he agrees. You can bring an action in Probate Court to do this. If you want to discuss further you can contact us.

Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 4/22/2011

Answer By John Kirchner
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
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The simple answer is "no", you can't rewrite history or undo biology. If you mean that is not, in fact, the biological father and is listed as the father simply because you were married at the time the child was born, there are judicial procedures to confirm that fact; the simplest would be do resolve that in connection with a divorce that it would seem is long overdue. However, if you mean how to terminate any parental rights (because he is clearly the child's father), that is generally possible only in connection with someone else adopting the child or in confirmed cases of child abuse. Even if you decide to attempt something pro se, you ought to at least spend the money needed for a consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can evaluate your specific situation and goals.

Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 4/22/2011

Answer By Lori C. Obenauf
Lori C. Obenauf LLC
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Unfortunately, courts do not look favorably on terminating parental rights merely because the parties seek to do so unless the parents are seeking to have their child adopted. I recommend that you seek legal counsel to discuss your overall goals and help you accomplish those goals with the appropriate legal approach.

Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 4/22/2011

Answer By Brian Arnold
Arnold & Wadsworth
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Well that is going to be hard to do because the state is going to look after the children's best interest.

Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 4/21/2011

Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
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You should probably file for divorce, and submit a paternity test as evidence that the husband is not the father. You may, alternatively, be able to file a divorce by agreement with both parties attesting that there were no children born of the marriage, as technically, under your facts, that is the truth. Your local Volunteer Lawyers Program may be able to assist with a divorce by agreement. You could check with your local Bar Association about their Volunteer Program. Stay well.

Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 4/21/2011

Answer By Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
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The short answer to your question is, "No." You need to call an experienced Family Law Attorney for a free consultation.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/21/2011

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