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What compensation can you seek for misattributed paternity?

Paternity can be established using a variety of methods, including through DNA testing and by implication. DNA testing is very accurate, however, paternity established by implication is more difficult to avoid. For example, if you were married to the mother when the child was born, is it is likely that you will be the assumed father.

Misattribution occurs when the court incorrectly establishes paternity between a father and child. This post will address the compensation to which you are entitled if you paid child and other support due to the misattributed paternity.

There are two different types of compensation you may recover:

  • Reimbursement for child support.
  • Reversal of property settlements.

Essentially, this reverses the effect of a paternity suit and reimburses the father for the misattribution. The courts order these reversals due to the financial burden of raising children and because these payments are not voluntary.

Cases of misattribution are often related to circumstances of infidelity and deception, wherein a woman knows that a man is not the father of her child, but acts as though he is for financial gain or to hide her indiscretions. The truth could be accidentally discovered during medical testing when it is found that a child bears genetic conditions not native to the father or mother.

If you have recently learned that a child you have been caring for is not yours, you are likely torn between your emotional attachment to your children and the realization that your child is not biologically related to you. A lawyer can go over the pros and cons of contesting misattributed paternity. However, it is ultimately your decision.

If you believe that paternity was incorrectly assigned to you, then you may want to speak to a lawyer. A lawyer can review your case and the circumstances of the paternity suit to determine the best course to relieve you of legal and financial responsibility. As you can see, if you establish that paternity was misattributed, you may be entitled to recover child and other paid support. A lawyer can help as you try to find the resolution that is right for you.

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