Disputing the Paternity of a Child You Think Is Not Yours

In an ideal situation, a child is born to a mother and father who conceived the child as a couple. In the real world, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes someone who believes they are the child’s father, such as the mother’s husband, may not actually be the biological father. So what happens when you suspect that you are not a child’s biological parent, and you wish to give up custody of that child?

Under Minnesota law, the husband of the birth mother is assumed to be the father. He is legally responsible for contributing to the upbringing of the child unless and until another person is established as the child’s legal father. If you have reason to question your child’s paternity, you can begin by filing a Non-paternity Statement.

While genetic testing can usually reveal whether or not a man is a child’s biological father, it can be hard to force the mother to submit the child to a genetic test. A court can order these tests on its own, but to convince a judge to issue this order, the man denying paternity must typically allege that he could not have been the father because of a lack of intimate relations.

It is especially hard to contest paternity if you have already signed a Recognition of Parentage form, a document that must be signed at the hospital before placing your name on the child’s birth certificate. This paper is an admission on your part that you are the child’s biological parent, and while the document can be used against you in court, you may have up to 60 days to revoke your signature.

For help proving or denying that you are a child’s biological father, consult an experienced Minnesota paternity lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. today.

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