Paternity in Massachusetts: What Happens if the Father Finds Out He's Not the Real Father?
Dealing with paternity in Massachusetts is not an easy legal process, and it's always recommended you have a paternity lawyer by your side in these situations. One of the most complicated cases is when a husband of a spouse claims paternity and then finds out later he isn't the actual father. This is one of the most complex situations that can arise.
What are some of the scenarios behind these cases? And what can be done to amend a paternity case when proof arises the noted father isn't really the father?
The Voluntary Acknowledgement
Usually, the presumed father of the child will sign a voluntary acknowledgement that assumes he's the dad. These forms are generally dealt with at the hospital where the child is born and done in conjunction with signing the birth certificate. Keep in mind that things get complex if the father is present, yet not legally married to the mother. His name can't appear on the birth certificate unless he agrees to a paternity acknowledgement.
If that presumed father doesn't agree to a voluntary acknowledgement, then the name of whoever the mother is married to (if she is at all) will end up on the birth certificate.
But that's just for starters in the tangled scenarios. Things can get messy when the earlier-mentioned scenario occurs where the father's DNA test shows he isn't the real father.
Reversing the Acknowledgement
The Divorce Collaborative reminds that you only have 60 days to overturn a paternity acknowledgement form in Massachusetts. When going through the court, you do have a year to reverse the claim, even though it's very challenging to get it overturned at all. If you find out that you're the father years after the fact, it may ne impossible to reverse it and you'll have to live with the legal record of being designated the real father.
That's why it's important to do a DNA test (genetic marker testing) as soon as you can to avoid legal complications like this.
If you don't, it could affect your life in more ways than just giving you an unpleasant shock. The court could force you to pay child support if you happened to not be married to the mother and you walk away after finding out you're not the father. With a legally binding paternity acknowledgement, you're responsible for certain things as you are signing any other legal form.
Here at the Law Office of Robert W. Kovacs, Jr., we can help you through these complex paternity challenges in Massachusetts. Representing Worcester, we specialize in divorce and family law with years of experience dealing with many different challenging scenarios.
Contact us so we can review your case and help you through the maze of our state paternity laws. We'll make sure the outcome is right for everyone concerned, especially the child involved.