How should you respond to paternity fraud?

If your wife comes to you with the news that she is pregnant with your child, you may feel excited, nervous or surprised. But what should you do if you find out later that you are not the true father of the child? You may learn that the mother committed paternity fraud. This sometimes occurs when a married woman wants to hide an extramarital affair that results in a pregnancy. In Illinois, it may be difficult to prove paternity fraud, but there are a few steps you may take if you suspect you are not the child’s father.

Determining the true parentage of a child is essential because it may have a significant impact on legal rights and responsibilities as well as financial issues. The Circuit Court of Cook County provides information on the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015, which covers the establishment of parentage in the state. According to the law, if you were married to the child’s mother within 300 days of the child’s birth, the law presumes you to be the father. If you are not in fact the child’s biological father but your wife does not suggest that there is another potential father, she may be deliberately committing paternity fraud.

If you suspect your wife has committed paternity fraud, there are a few actions you may take. You may file a legal form to declare the non-existence of a parent-child relationship between yourself and the child. According to the law, you must initiate this action within two years of learning the relevant facts relating to paternity. For example, if you learn through a DNA test that you are not the child’s father, you must initiate the legal action within two years of receiving the test results. If the court agrees that you are not the child’s father, you may stop being subject to child support requirements and similar legal orders.

This information on paternity fraud is intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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