How to Disestablish Paternity

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In most states, paternity can be legally established by the father signing the birth certificate, through marriage, and by the father signing a sworn statement in family court. There are unfortunate instances where a man will have legally established paternity only to find out he is not the biological father. In this case, he may disestablish paternity by requesting the court order a scientific DNA test to prove he is not the father.

File a petition for disestablishment of paternity. You must include in your petition the names of both parents and the child. You must also state that you do not believe that you are the father, you wish to disestablish paternity, and the reasons why you believe you are not the father.

File the petition in the family court where the child support order was granted. This is the court that has authority to grant your petition. Children's Services will be notified of the petition and notify the other parent. They may file a response. The court may order scientific testing to determine whether disestablishment is warranted. If you were married to the other parent, she may agree that you are not the father and advise the court.

Read More: Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I'm Not on the Birth Certificate?

Satisfy any unpaid child support owed to the other parent. You are still required to pay child support during the time your petition is pending. Support payments must continue until the court orders a judgment disestablishing paternity. When the court enters the judgment you will no longer be responsible for the support of the child.


  • The court may require you file a satisfaction of judgment stating all support has been paid up until the judgment was entered.

About the Author

Maria Lassen has many years experience in the legal field. She was a practicing hair and nail technician for 10 years and has been a freelance writer since 2010. Lassen studied creative writing at Bowling Green State University and holds a certificate in paralegal studies.

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