Sadly, paternity fraud is rampant in the U.S. As many as 30 percent of fathers supporting children may not be those children’s biological parents. In some circumstances, a father can even be ordered to pay child support in spite of DNA evidence proving that he is not the child’s actual father. In addition, it can be damaging to both the father and child, who may have developed emotional attachments to each other, only to find out that the paternity is false.
You may be wondering how this is possible. In many states, including Georgia, a father is presumed to be a child’s biological parent if he is married to the child’s mother at the time the child is born. However, Georgia has a law allowing men to disestablish paternity.
Disestablishing Paternity in Georgia
Georgia law allows you to file a motion to set aside determination of paternity. If you have been required to pay child support as the father, any motion must include an affidavit regarding any newly discovered evidence that has come to light since you were ordered to pay support as well as results from scientifically credible parentage-determination genetic testing. This testing must be administered within 90 days prior to filing the motion, and conclude that there is a 0 percent probability that you are the father of the child.
Paternity Fraud and Suing for False Paternity
If you file for divorce and sue for fraud, the verdict can relieve you of making child support payments.
In some circumstances, after finding out they are not the biological father of the child, men are seeking reimbursement for child support payments against the biological father. If you are seeking to sue over an issue like this, you always want to work with an experienced paternity attorney.
Denying Court-Ordered Paternity Tests
If you refuse to participate in a court-ordered paternity test, you could be held in contempt of court, or the court could enter a judgment against you and order you to pay child support.
Costs and Timeline
In Georgia, the cost for paternity testing, if done through the state’s Child Support Services, is currently $22 per person, making the total cost to test mother, father, and child $66. The time it takes to get the results of a DNA paternity test back depends upon the lab, and ranges anywhere from several days to several weeks. Parentage must always be determined before a court can enter a child support order. This can usually take up to six months.
The cost of bringing a paternity suit depends upon your attorney’s rates, the specific facts of the case, and how each party responds to various demands during litigation.