Reeder & Brown, P.C.


What Can I Do if I Found Out a Child is Not Mine After Establishing Paternity?

 Posted on January 17, 2022 in Divorce

IL family lawyerBecoming a father is one of the most impactful things that can happen to a man. Fatherhood allows a man to further his legacy, knowledge, and wisdom to future generations through a deeply meaningful relationship with a child, giving both the child and the father an opportunity to grow and learn. Some men are understandably concerned with ensuring that a child is truly theirs before investing so much time and effort into raising him or her.

It can be devastating to discover that a child you thought was yours actually belongs to someone else. When paternity is uncertain, or when you can prove you are not a child’s father, you may want to disestablish paternity and sever your legal obligations to the child. If you are in this situation and want to know more, read on.

What if I Am Married to the Child’s Mother?

When a couple is married and the wife gives birth, the husband is automatically assumed to be the child’s legal father, and disestablishing paternity can be a challenge. If a married father discovers through a DNA test that a child is not his own, he may be able to ask a judge to grant him disestablishment.

What if I Already Signed a VAP?

An alleged father may be able to get disestablishment if he can prove that he signed a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) through fraud, threats, or an honest mistake. For example, if a woman deceives a man into believing he is the father of a child and so he signs a VAP at the hospital but later discovers he is not the child’s father, he may be able to get the VAP rescinded.

If it has been less than 60 days since he signed the VAP, he could file a Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity with the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS). If it has been more than 60 days, he may be able to get a judge to grant the disestablishment of parentage.

Call a Will County, IL Paternity Disestablishment Lawyer

Formally disestablishing paternity is important for ensuring that you are not held responsible for a child later in life. The forms and procedures for disestablishing paternity can be complex, but an experienced Joliet, IL paternity attorney may be able to help you build a strong case. Call the offices of Reeder & Brown, P.C. today to learn more about how you can protect your future in a free consultation. Contact us at 815-885-5980.




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