In the past, accusing a woman of lying about the paternity of a child during a divorce or breakup was viewed as nothing more than a way to attack her out of anger. Today, research has shown that thousands of men are the victims of paternity fraud each year, causing a great deal of emotional and financial harm. Once paternity is established in the form of a written acknowledgment or by default if the couple was married at the time of conception or birth, men often face an uphill battle to extricate themselves from their legal obligations. As the public becomes more familiar with cases of men burdened or even jailed over the support of a child who was falsely presented as biologically theirs, men are learning how to fight against paternity fraud.
Sign Nothing Without Representation
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself from becoming a victim of paternity fraud or being further financially compromised because of fraud is to refuse to sign any document without first obtaining legal representation. Spending 30 minutes in a legal consultation with an attorney who can review and explain what you are signing can save you years of financial hardship. Signing one seemingly innocuous document could legally bind you to the responsibility of supporting a child you do not believe is yours. While it is possible to resolve the situation, not signing a document in the first place is substantially easier than attempting to undo what you unknowingly did by signing a form that you did not truly understand.
Know the Laws of Your State
Acquaint yourself with the laws of your state of residence or the state that the mother and child live in. Knowing the laws prior to the birth of your child or before a legal battle begins can help you prepare for custody or paternity related disputes. If you are a service member who is active duty, then you may qualify for extra protection that prevents your spouse or partner from initiating court proceedings while you are deployed or otherwise unable to attend a hearing.
Contest Paternity Immediately
Waiting to address your concerns regarding the paternity of your child only further complicates the situation. Depending on your situation you may only have a limited window of time to challenge paternity before a case moves on to the next steps including deciding child support obligations. If a court order for child support already exists, then challenging it immediately and requesting a paternity test are still recommended. The sooner you can get yourself in front of a judge with concrete proof that the child you are supporting is not biologically yours, the sooner you can be released from court ordered financial obligations.
Get Legal Help
Once you have discovered that you may be a victim of paternity fraud, visiting an attorney is crucial. After the court has assigned paternity to one man, fighting the ruling is often difficult and attempting to represent yourself without help could seriously damage your chances of relief. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are prepared to fight aggressively on your behalf. With offices located throughout the Atlanta, Georgia area, our legitimation and paternity attorneys can guide you through this process and help you achieve the resolution you desire. Contact us today to schedule a consultation so that we can begin providing you with the legal assistance that you deserve.