The Indiana Court of Appeals recently ruled a man was liable for child support even though three different DNA tests indicated he was not the father.
The man involved signed a paternity affidavit, without reading the fine print, attesting he was the father of a child after the child’s mother threatened to keep the child from the man unless he signed the document. Soon thereafter, the man took a home DNA test which indicated he was not the father. A certified laboratory test the following year had the same negative result. Yet, the Court found he was still liable for child support when the mother took the man to court in the years following.
The problem? Indiana child support law only provides a 60-day window after signing a paternity affidavit to reverse paternity based on DNA test result. A paternity affidavit is a legally-binding document a man can voluntarily sign to assume paternity over a child. After 60 days, the affidavit essentially becomes set in stone making it almost impossible to challenge, even if DNA testing later shows the man is not the biological father making the man responsible for child support, medical costs and even college expenses potentially until the child turns 19.
Before signing an Indiana paternity affidavit, it is important to seek counsel from an Indiana child support attorney so you know your rights as well as the legal implications of signing the affidavit.
The case referenced here is In Re: Support Abriel Theresa Jenika Gonzalez, et. al. v. Johnathan Michael Ortiz, 19A-JP-01957.
Stidham Legal is your Indiana child support attorney to provide you quality and upfront advice on your child support and paternity issues.