Notification of fatherhood may come to you from the Family Court in the form of a Petition to Establish Parental Relationship, or from Child Support Services.  No matter how it comes, it is best to take action right away.  In some instances you may not know who the mom is and are certain you are not the father, or you may know the mom and still be unsure as to whether the child is yours or not.

Whatever the situation, your response depends on what you receive.  If you received a Notice and Complaint from Child Support Services you will have 30 days to respond to it. When you respond you must say that you are NOT the parent and request a DNA test. Child Support Services will typically arrange for the testing.  If the test comes back negative, Child Support Services will usually dismiss the case.

If you are served with a Petition to Establish Parental Relationship, also known as a Paternity Action, from the Family Court you will also need to Respond within 30 days. However, make sure to check either the box indicating that you are unsure that you are the father OR that you are sure that you are not the father.  You can also request a DNA test to confirm paternity.

Do not wait to dispute Paternity.  Make sure to reply right away so as to request a DNA test to confirm fatherhood.  Those who wait or who do not respond correctly run the risk of being determined the father and paying the necessary Child Support.  If the dad waits more than 2 years, once a judgment as to Paternity has been made, the courts will not change the determination.

If you have questions regarding Paternity or have received a document regarding Paternity, give us a call!  We can determine how best to handle your specific case and see that a DNA test is administered. We can be reached at 1-800-HELP-444 (1-800-435-7444) or visit our website for more information .

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