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The Conditions of Paternity Fraud in 2013 in San Diego

What Is Paternity Fraud?

Paternity fraud, in San Diego, is an act committed by the mother of the child when she identifies a man as being the biological father even though she knows it to be untrue and that the man has no biological link to her child. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon in San Diego. Additionally, you could have a situation where a mother names the father on the birth certificate when she is not certain he is the biological father of her child, but only suspects that he is. In either event, the allegation of paternity can result in a court action being brought against the alleged father even though he may not know about this until he is served with pleadings.

Right at the outset of proceedings for child support where a single parent is involved, the Judge will enquire from the single parent’s filing of the petition for paternity whether paternity of the child is clearly established. If the father signed a voluntary declaration of paternity at the hospital, then this will be considered. If the father did not sign a voluntary declaration of paternity but the mother placed the father’s name on the birth certificate, then this is a different consideration. If the paternity of the child is in doubt, a paternity test will be ordered by the Judge but this must be requested immediately. If the outcome is not the person nominated by the mother as the biological father, then the Court will dismiss the person accused of being the father and no legal liability will ensue as long as the strict time periods are met.

Paternity Fraud and Child Support

If for several years a man has paid child support and subsequently finds he is not the biological father of the child and the mother knew this and committed fraud in the naming of the father, it then becomes the court’s decision whether he should go on paying child support. The court might decide from either of these options:

  • Might order further support payments to cease forthwith
  • Might order the support payments to continue
The Court’s Justification for Ordering Continuation of Child Support Despite Paternity Fraud

The court might order a non-biological parent to continue making child support payments for the following reasons:

  • For a lengthy span of time the father has supported the child, and for all practical purposes has acted as the child’s father and has become the “de facto” parent
  • Despite the issue of parentage, child support is still required. If child support ceases the child might become a ward of the court. But what does this have to do with a non-parent, many people ask?
  • The best interests are served by the continuation of child support payments. This is a strange situation but has occurred.
What can a victim of paternity fraud do?

A father who is a victim of paternity fraud must immediately petition the San Diego Superior Court for relief. This is complicated and, as above, there are strict time limits.

Consequences to a Parent Who Guilty of Paternity Fraud

Nothing can happen to mothers who have committed paternity fraud since it is not deemed a crime liable for punishment which many people find profound. While it is clearly morally wrong to name a person as the father when this is known not to be correct, there is no statute in the California Penal Code which makes this a criminal offense.

Supplementary Advice

A parent who believes the co-parent of being guilty of paternity fraud must try to have a DNA test conducted at the earliest and leave the rest to the court’s discretion.

Doppelt and Forney, APLC

If you are paying child support and believe that you are not the biological father of the child you are supporting, consult Doppelt and Forney, APLC of San Diego immediately. You do not have to put up with this and can contest This is an established family law firm which deals in such cases and all other aspects of family law.

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