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How can I stop paying child support for a child that is not mine.

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cdrutledge1977

Junior Member
What is the name of your state? I currently live in Connecticut, but this issue will have to be taken care of in New York. This is because the child and my estranged wife life in New York and I just moved to Connecticut due to job transfer.

Basically, I got myself into a mess. Brief intro: I met a girl back in September of 2000. A few dates in, found out she was pregnant. We stayed together. The child was born May 16th, 2001 and we were married June 20th, 2001. When Ginny (the child) was born, I signed the birth certificate. My wife and I have since split up and she keeps trying to take me to the proverbial cleaners for child support.

Here is my question -- before I retain an attorney for this big mess, I am wondering if it is likely or even possible that I can get my name off that birth certificate and sever my "paternal" rights?

Details: When Ginny was born, I had been there through the whole thing, from pregnancy to being in the delivery room. I can still remember holding this new-born, innocent, precious little girl in my arms. Ginny also has some issues at birth (low birth weight of 5 lbs, a bad blood infection that kept her hospitalized for 10 days and a very small hole in her skin at the base of the spine - which did close up). While this was happening, Kelly (my ex-wife) and I talked about the possibility that maybe I was the father and that Ginny was a bit pre-mature. Well, without thinking, I grasped onto the concept and that in concert with instant attachment to Ginny, I signed the birth certificate/acknowledgement of paternity (later on, Ginny's pediatrician said that no, Ginny was not premature).

We separated when it became obvious that all Kelly and her family cared about was getting money out of someone. By New York State law, a father can be required to pay 17% of their gross income in child support (not something I agree with -- especially the gross income part, but I digress). However, Kelly and I came to an agreement that I would pay $400 a month in child support (which works out to 12%). Nothing has been filed with the courts, but at every turn I am being asked for more money for a child that is 99% surely not mine. I was not allowed to see Ginny except for 3 times in the past 2 and 3/4 years. And unfortunately my work schedule changed and they were unwilling to accommodate. So basically, I pay out money every month, cover her medical, dental and vision care and keep an account putting money away for educational expenses all for a child I am not allowed to see and nor is mine.

Was I a stupid idiot, for signing the birth certificate -- yes!!! And I kick myself every day for that. But I am just wondering -- is there any way to get off the birth certificate? Is it likely that it would happen? I just want out o this mess I created but I am not sure how or if it is even possible. PLEASE HELP?!?! Thank you.
 


BelizeBreeze

Senior Member
In New York, It is possible that a party in a paternity proceeding may be estopped (prevented) from denying paternity based upon that party's past actions or statements. For example, if the party has alleged paternity in some other court proceeding or document, that party may be prevented from denying paternity.

Likewise, if a man has held himself out to be the father of a child, he may be estopped from denying paternity in court. Finally, the actions of a putative father can affect the statute of limitations for a paternity proceeding. Each case is fact sensitive, and must be analyzed on its own.

The kicker for you is Article 5.

The time to commence a paternity proceeding under Article 5 of the Family Court Act is any time during the pregnancy of the mother, or after the child is born, but not after twenty one years, unless paternity is somehow acknowledged by the father, or he paid support.

Unless there is fraud or intent to defraud you don't hold much of a chance of disestablishing paternity.

See Alberto T. v. Tammy D., 274 A.D.2d 587, 587-88 (N.Y. App. Div. 2000) (citing Ettore I. v. Angela D., 127 A.D.2d 6, 13 (N.Y. App. Div. 1987) (applying the doctrine of estoppel to preclude a presumed father from asserting nonpaternity)); see also Diane S. Kaplan, Why Truth is Not a Defense in Paternity Actions, 10 Tex. J. Women & Law 69, 79-80 (explaining the New York model of applying best interests factors when competing presumptions arise in paternity disputes).

In Pietros v. Pietros, 638 A.2d 545 (R.I. 1994), the Rhode Island Supreme Court held that although an individual may rebut the presumption of paternity by clear and convincing evidence, courts may equitably estop a presumptive father from challenging paternity where the parties have accepted or agreed to a husband's status as father of the child.


So, get ready "DADDY"!!!
 

Mbarr

Member
cdrutledge1977 said:
The child was born May 16th, 2001 and we were married June 20th, 2001. When Ginny (the child) was born, I signed the birth certificate. My wife and I have since split up and she keeps trying to take me to the proverbial cleaners for child support.

Nothing has been filed with the courts
Parents were not married at time of birth. Parents are still married and no court proceedings have been held. In AL, and several other states, paternity can be challenged at the time of divorce--BB, does NY allow the same?

OP - given the dates you provided, this child may very well be yours. You need genetic testing.
 

BelizeBreeze

Senior Member
Mbarr said:
Parents were not married at time of birth. Parents are still married and no court proceedings have been held. In AL, and several other states, paternity can be challenged at the time of divorce--BB, does NY allow the same?

OP - given the dates you provided, this child may very well be yours. You need genetic testing.
Article 5 of the Domestic Relations Laws says no.
He is equitibly estopped from retracting his affidavit of paternity.

Even Soc. Serv. Law § 372-c(3) doesn't help as it only addresses the right of a prospective father to "...at anytime revoke a notice of intent to claim paternity. "

Our poster here has signed the AOP, the birth certificate and has raised the child (support) for those years since the birth.
 

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