The Repercussions of Lying About Paternity
Paternity fraud is more common than you might think. Men often take a woman’s word at face value when it comes to the identity of a child’s father. If you’ve recently discovered that a current or former partner lied to you about paternity, a family law attorney can help you fight to make the situation right.
If you suspect you might be the victim of paternity fraud, it’s best to start by consulting a lawyer on how to proceed. A lawyer with child custody experience can advise you on the best way to move forward given the specifics of your situation.
Reasons for Lying About Paternity
Women lie about paternity for two reasons: to keep a biological father out of their child’s life or convince another man that he is the child’s father.
In the first case, giving a general reason for the lie is hard. A woman who wants to keep a father away from his biological children might do so for any number of personal reasons.
In the second case, it’s easier to identify reasons for leading a man to believe he is the father of a child. A woman might want to maintain an ongoing marriage or relationship despite infidelity. Sometimes, circumstantial factors like a man’s income level might be key motivators.
The Consequences of Paternity Fraud
If you suspect you’re the biological father of a child, you can speak with a lawyer about the process of requesting a DNA test and seeking parental rights. If a woman has legally identified you as a child’s biological father and you suspect it’s a lie, you might be the victim of paternity fraud.
Paternity fraud isn’t considered to be a crime in the U.S. You can’t press charges against a woman who has committed paternity fraud against you.
Part of the reason for this is that a man can either believe a woman or not. If at any time you suspect you’re a child’s biological father, you can request a DNA test and be relieved of legal obligations like child support.
While you can’t press criminal charges over paternity fraud, you can seek damages by taking legal action in civil court. You can seek to have child support payment returned and additional damages for items like emotional distress.
Suddenly, discovering you’re not the biological father of a child can be a severe emotional blow. In the same way, learning you have a child whose life you were forced out of can also be emotionally upsetting. In either case, a child custody lawyer can work with you to fight for the level of parental involvement you’re hoping for.
Paternity Issues? Consult an Oakland County Lawyer Today
If you’ve been lied to about paternity, you have options. Gucciardo Family Law works with fathers in the greater Detroit area and throughout Oakland County to navigate complicated family situations, including paternity fraud. Call Gucciardo Family Law today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Oakland County divorce.
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