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  1. #1
    friscodude is offline Junior Member
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    Question Just found out my 10yr old is not mine

    I married my wife 10 years ago when she got pregnant, after dating for 3 years. I love my wife and we have had a wonderful marriage but now I find out that my son, now about to turn 10, is not my own. (I have another son, age 8, and I'm sure he is mine but I haven't done a test)

    I have a lot of questions and concerns about this. I feel like my son deserves to know but I'm scared of the consequences.
    Will we need to seek out his real father?
    What are the father's rights?
    Could his real dad take my son away from me?
    What will my son feel knowing that I am not his real dad?
    If I don't tell my son, he might still find out some day and I can't imagine how upset he would be then for us not telling him.
    What about health/genetic issues - I feel like we should know?

    Less important to me but still an issue: I'm also now conflicted about my wife. I feel betrayed in the absolute worst way.
    What are my rights?
    If I was to file for divorce, would I lose custody of my son because he is not mine?
    Will I have an ability to get full custody of my younger son?
    I could not stand to live without either one of them and it doesn't seem fair that I should I suffer due to something my wife has caused. My wife is a good mom and I don't want to take my kids away from her either; is the only real option joint custody?

    As you can imagine, this is very stressful and I would really appreciate honest and real answers. I don't want to hear how bad my wife is, I want to know my options, I want to hear opinions on the best way to handle my son. Thank you.
  2. #2
    milspecgirl is offline Senior Member
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    you are his dad- in every sense except biology. You were married at birth, you are on the birth certificate, you are his father. If the other man came into the picture, he would have to file to establish paternity and you would have to file to disestablish.

    How has your marriage been for 10 years? I understand you are crushed, but take a minute. MAybe she made 1 mistake. has she been faithful since then? how did you find out he wasn't yours? does she know who the father is?

    I'm not sure you should be considering divorce yet if you just found out. You seem to have a good wife- you say she's a good mom.
    This man cannot take your son from you. You are his legal father. that is what a judge will see and you have a bond. Breaking that bond and disrupting the child are not in the child's best interest.
    now, as to whether you tell him, speak with a family counselor alone and together and when everyone thinks it is right, you can tell him if that is your decision. make sure he gets counseling too.
  3. #3
    tuffbrk is offline Senior Member
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    Need to post your state.
    We can't help you guess how "your" son will feel/react.
    Have you considered counseling as opposed to divorce.
  4. #4
    friscodude is offline Junior Member
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    Sorry - I'm in Texas.

    To answer your other question. I'm not sure that I want to divorce but its important to me to know my options. Thanks.
  5. #5
    milspecgirl is offline Senior Member
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    if you do go for divorce- the judge will probably keep the children together- they are brothers, so her getting 1 and you getting 1 would be tricky unless you can prove she is unfit. however, since you are the legal father to both children, you would go for custody/etc of both
  6. #6
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by milspecgirl View Post
    you are his dad- in every sense except biology. You were married at birth, you are on the birth certificate, you are his father. If the other man came into the picture, he would have to file to establish paternity and you would have to file to disestablish.
    Wrong. The other man could file to establish paternity and if it is proven he is the father then OP would NOT have to file to disestablish.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  7. #7
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by milspecgirl View Post
    if you do go for divorce- the judge will probably keep the children together- they are brothers, so her getting 1 and you getting 1 would be tricky unless you can prove she is unfit. however, since you are the legal father to both children, you would go for custody/etc of both
    Shhhhhh... Not necessarily would there be a problem with splitting children. It depends on a lot of different factors. She doesn't win custody of both children just because she had sex with someone else.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  8. #8
    milspecgirl is offline Senior Member
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    sorry- i was under the impression that since he was the legal father he would have to want to disestablish paternity at this late of a date

    also- the thing about siblings wasn't concrete. just what I have learned in court - the judge would not split mine up because they are siblings. same went with my sd's 2 halfbrothers. the judge would not allow them to be split up when they were adopted out due to them being siblings
  9. #9
    casa is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by friscodude View Post
    I married my wife 10 years ago when she got pregnant, after dating for 3 years. I love my wife and we have had a wonderful marriage but now I find out that my son, now about to turn 10, is not my own. (I have another son, age 8, and I'm sure he is mine but I haven't done a test)

    I have a lot of questions and concerns about this. I feel like my son deserves to know but I'm scared of the consequences.
    Will we need to seek out his real father?
    What are the father's rights?
    Could his real dad take my son away from me?
    What will my son feel knowing that I am not his real dad?
    If I don't tell my son, he might still find out some day and I can't imagine how upset he would be then for us not telling him.
    What about health/genetic issues - I feel like we should know?

    Less important to me but still an issue: I'm also now conflicted about my wife. I feel betrayed in the absolute worst way.
    What are my rights?
    If I was to file for divorce, would I lose custody of my son because he is not mine?
    Will I have an ability to get full custody of my younger son?
    I could not stand to live without either one of them and it doesn't seem fair that I should I suffer due to something my wife has caused. My wife is a good mom and I don't want to take my kids away from her either; is the only real option joint custody?

    As you can imagine, this is very stressful and I would really appreciate honest and real answers. I don't want to hear how bad my wife is, I want to know my options, I want to hear opinions on the best way to handle my son. Thank you.
    At this point you are LEGALLY the child's father. IF the bio. father ever figured it out and pushed for DNA testing...that does not mean he'd have any Rights, since the child is age 10 now. He'd have a long & costly fight to establish any Rights. If the child were younger, the answer would/could be different. I believe the most bio. father would get would be infrequent visitation...and that would be after counseling/therapy & all sorts of other gradual introductions of him into the child's life. Which, by that time, the child would be a teen most likelyi ~ and have some input into the decision himself.

    Emotionally you & Mom need to discuss when is the appropriate time to tell your son. That depends on your child's maturity level & no one knows that but you & your wife. I don't think it will 'take away' from your relationship~ and probably best handled in the same way as adoptive children. Age appropriate truth & reinforcement that it makes the child no less YOUR child.

    Your marriage....well, that's for you to figure out. I'd suggest letting some time pass before making any permanent decisions. A huge betrayal, yes...but it's also an 11 yr old mistake. Only you know what that means in terms of the future.

    If you divorce ~ Who gets physical custody depends on what you & wife work out...or what the court's decide. Who's the primary caretaker at this point? Joint Custody could work, especially if you are able to remain living somewhat close to each other (ie; in same school district, etc.)

    Whichever way you decide to go with all this ~ Remember he IS your son. This upsetting revelation won't change that.
  10. #10
    peppier is offline Member
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    Just my opinion

    If your wife is a good wife and a good mother then if I were you I'd try everything in my power to keep my family together. For the most part, divorce and custody decisions are devastating to everyone who is involved. Everyone's life will be absolutely disrupted for at least 2 yrs before there is any healing.

    Unless someone is very lucky they will not leave this life without suffering from a complete betrayal of/by someone they love. It is what you do when you are confronted with it that makes you grow, in spite of yourself and in spite of the betrayal or shrivel up into an angry paranoid just waiting around for the next betrayal. People make mistakes, others can choose to forgive, it isn't easy but it can be done.

    As far as telling the child, I would consult a few child psychologists before I made my decision.
  11. #11
    Accountable is offline Member
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    Don't worry

    When did you marry the mother? Was it before the child was born? or soon after? If so, you are the presumed father due to the marriage. Under Texas law, the statute of limitation for challenging paternity is four years when there is a presumed father (that would be you), especially if the presumed father and mother engaged in sexual activity during the probable period of conception and the presumed father has held himself out as the child's father and has an established relationship.

    IMO - you have NOTHING to worry about concerning the child's paternity. He is yours in every legal sense of the word.
  12. #12
    Blue Meanie is offline Senior Member
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    I am curious as to how the issue of paternity came about? Was there a DNA test done? If yes, by whom?
  13. #13
    GV70 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohiogal View Post
    Wrong. The other man could file to establish paternity and if it is proven he is the father then OP would NOT have to file to disestablish.
    Ohiogal-your answer is wrong-the other man COULD NOT file to establish paternity.The law of Texas prohibits it.FAMILY CODE-CHAPTER 160. UNIFORM PARENTAGE ACT
    A presumption of paternity established under this section may be rebutted only by:
    (1) an adjudication under Subchapter G; or
    (2) the filing of a valid denial of paternity by a presumed father in conjunction with the filing by another person of a valid acknowledgment of paternity as provided by Section 160.305.
    Sec. 160.607. TIME LIMITATION: CHILD HAVING PRESUMED FATHER. (a) Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (b), a proceeding brought by a presumed father, the mother, or another individual to adjudicate the parentage of a child having a presumed father shall be commenced not later than the fourth anniversary of the date of the birth of the child
  14. #14
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by GV70 View Post
    Ohiogal-your answer is wrong-the other man COULD NOT file to establish paternity.The law of Texas prohibits it.FAMILY CODE-CHAPTER 160. UNIFORM PARENTAGE ACT
    A presumption of paternity established under this section may be rebutted only by:
    (1) an adjudication under Subchapter G; or
    (2) the filing of a valid denial of paternity by a presumed father in conjunction with the filing by another person of a valid acknowledgment of paternity as provided by Section 160.305.
    Sec. 160.607. TIME LIMITATION: CHILD HAVING PRESUMED FATHER. (a) Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (b), a proceeding brought by a presumed father, the mother, or another individual to adjudicate the parentage of a child having a presumed father shall be commenced not later than the fourth anniversary of the date of the birth of the child
    I retract my answer. Correction noted. Thank you. What i probably should have said is that both an establishment and disestablishment of paternity do not need to take place. But nor can OP bring suit either. So therefore this goes nowhere.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  15. #15
    casa is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by GV70 View Post
    Ohiogal-your answer is wrong-the other man COULD NOT file to establish paternity.The law of Texas prohibits it.FAMILY CODE-CHAPTER 160. UNIFORM PARENTAGE ACT
    A presumption of paternity established under this section may be rebutted only by:
    (1) an adjudication under Subchapter G; or
    (2) the filing of a valid denial of paternity by a presumed father in conjunction with the filing by another person of a valid acknowledgment of paternity as provided by Section 160.305.
    Sec. 160.607. TIME LIMITATION: CHILD HAVING PRESUMED FATHER. (a) Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (b), a proceeding brought by a presumed father, the mother, or another individual to adjudicate the parentage of a child having a presumed father shall be commenced not later than the fourth anniversary of the date of the birth of the child
    GV70 Your answer is not 100% 'Right' either.....lest you forget 'fraud'.

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