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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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  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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