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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    3

    Default Paternity action in Maine when there's already a legal father

    A little over a year ago, I was informed by an ex that she was pregnant with my child, but that she did not expect anything from me, and that her new boyfriend would assume the role of father. I strongly disagreed with this idea, and after arguing about it for several weeks, she broke off contact with me, and refused to return any of my calls, emails, etc. She publicly claimed that the new boyfriend was the father, but I have seen a picture of the child, and am quite certain that I am the father.

    Six months after the child's birth, I attempted to contact the mother via email. We corresponded several times by phone. During the course of these conversations she implied that I was the father, but also stated that I was not the father. I have been emailing the mother over the last three months asking her to allow me to be involved somehow in this child's life. She now claims that the other guy is the father, and that they have a paternity test. The mother and I are no longer in contact. I am quite certain that this other man's name appears on the birth certificate. The child is now 10 months old.

    I would like to know what my rights are under Maine law to file a paternity action and to have a DNA test done, when the mother is completely uncooperative, and when there is already a "legal father." Does it matter that I have waited this long to file? I am not at all familiar with Maine's approach to family law.

    Thank you for any information.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Paternity action in Maine when there's already a legal father

    At this point you're not sure that there is a legal father? And the mother did not at any point marry the new boyfriend?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Paternity action in Maine when there's already a legal father

    I am certain that the other man's name appears on the birth certificate. I do not know if this, and the fact that he has held himself out to be the father for the last 10 months, makes him the legal father or not.

    As of 3 months ago, the couple was not married. I do not know for certain whether they have since married, but I believe they have not.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Paternity action in Maine when there's already a legal father

    Maine's paternity laws are available online. One provision states,
    Quote Quoting Maine Statutes, Titie 19A, 1553 - Paternity - Enforcement
    Paternity may be determined upon the complaint of the mother, the alleged father, the child or the public authority chargeable by law with the support of the child. If paternity has been determined or has been acknowledged according to the laws of this State, the liabilities of the father may be enforced in the same or other proceedings by the mother, the child or the public authority that has furnished or may furnish the reasonable expenses of pregnancy, confinement, education, support or funeral expenses, and by other persons, including private agencies, to the extent that they have furnished the reasonable expenses of pregnancy, confinement, education, support or funeral expenses. Bills and records of expenses paid for pregnancy, child birth and genetic testing are admissible as evidence without requiring 3rd-party foundation testimony and are prima facie evidence of amounts incurred for those services or for testing on behalf of the child. Chapter 63 applies to an award of past support, which is calculated by applying the current child support guidelines to the period for which past support is owed.
    A complaint form for establishing paternity in Maine can be downloaded here.

    I didn't see any provision which would prevent you from initiating paternity proceedings; but I did not scour the statutes and am not familiar with Maine's judicial rulings concerning the statutes. A local family lawyer should be able to inform you as to whether the prior establishment of paternity (however it was done) would form any sort of legal impediment to your paternity action.

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