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  1. #1

    Default How to File a Paternity Case if You Don't Know the Father's Name

    My question involves paternity law for the State of: Minnesota

    How would I go about filing child support when my baby is born if I do not know the father's last name?

    I know his first name and the city he's from, but that's basically all I know. He's also from a very large city. I became pregnant as a result of a one night stand. We used a condom but it must have broken without him letting me know. He is basically a stranger to me but if I'm going to raise this child I will need child support.

    Would it be possible to subpoena the bar's CCTV and/or credit card logs to help identify this man?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Child Support when I Only Know Father's First Name

    Quote Quoting merphlemench
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    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Minnesota

    How would I go about filing child support when my baby is born if I do not know the father's last name?
    When the only facts you know are the guy's first name and that he lives in a "very large city" you have a real problem here. You have to be able to identify the particular person to sue, and that means coming up with the full name and identifying where he lives or works so that he can be served with the summons and complaint. Furthermore you can't just jump right to seeking support. Your lawsuit will have to be both for determination of paternity and for support; the paternity determination would come first.

    Quote Quoting merphlemench
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    Would it be possible to subpoena the bar's CCTV and/or credit card logs to help identify this man?
    It might be possible to do that. You'd need to file the lawsuit first as a John Doe lawsuit and then seek the subpoena to get that information. I don't know how long it has been since that one night stand, but if it has been more than a month or so, the bar likely no longer has the video from that night; few businesses keep video very long unless they are promptly made aware of an issue that requires they keep it. It is expensive after all to retain that kind of stuff for long periods of time. The credit card info also may be a problem. You'd at least have to narrow the request down to just the records that have this guy's first name.

    And since this was a one night stand where all the two of you did was exchange first names, how do you even know that the first name he gave you was his real first name? If he knew from the outset he wasn't going to see you again he may well have given you a made up name.

    I suggest you see a family law attorney for help on this. It isn't a good do it yourself project. Once the baby is born you might be able to use a DNA test and submit it to one of those DNA testing sites with the hope that they might be able to at least identify family members with matching DNA that could help narrow your search. That's kind of a long shot, but it may turn out to be the best route you'll have. If I were you I'd not get my hopes up real high that you'll find this guy again, at least not easily. But you ought to at least discuss it with a lawyer to go over your options and see what it will cost you.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Finding Father Only Know First Name

    Quote Quoting merphlemench
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    Would it be possible to subpoena the bar's CCTV and/or credit card logs to help identify this man?
    First of all, why do you think surveillance footage ever existed? Second, do you have any reason to believe such footage -- if it existed in the first place -- still exists? Have you contacted the bar and asked about this and asked to review footage from that night? In the absence of a reason to believe retaining footage is necessary, it's unlikely to be retained more than a few weeks or a month or so.

    As far as a subpoena, you can't subpoena anything outside of the context of a legal action. If you insist on going through with the birth, you should discuss with a local attorney whether you can file a "John Doe" paternity action and serve a subpoena in the context of that action.

    As far as credit card records, again, it depends on how much time has passed and how many persons with the same first name paid by credit card. And, of course, that all assumes he paid for anything with a credit card (as opposed to cash).

    By the way, I'm assuming (although I have no reason to do so) that this was your only sexual intercourse within four weeks or so on either side of the estimated date of conception. If that's not the case, why are you assuming this was the encounter that resulted in the pregnancy?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Child Support when I Only Know Father's First Name

    In addition to all of the above, and what was posted in your other thread, if you happen to find the guy, and he is determined to be the father, you can expect the possibility of having to share custody and visitation arrangements with someone you don't know at all.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Child Support when I Only Know Father's First Name

    If I were to decide against child support for this reason, would I be able to receive governmental assistance if I can't find this man? Or do they also need more information on the man?

    This did happen about 2 months ago as I am now 11 weeks pregnant. I remember he did pay with a credit card at the bar we met at. His name wasn't super common but it also wasn't super uncommon.

    I'm more or less curious if this would be a feasible approach, if I were to get the credit card log and say I find multiple people with his name, would I be able to get court ordered DNA tests to all of them? Could they refuse to take these if they said they don't know me?

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    Default Re: Child Support when I Only Know Father's First Name

    Quote Quoting merphlemench
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    If I were to decide against child support for this reason, would I be able to receive governmental assistance if I can't find this man? Or do they also need more information on the man?

    This did happen about 2 months ago as I am now 11 weeks pregnant. I remember he did pay with a credit card at the bar we met at. His name wasn't super common but it also wasn't super uncommon.

    I'm more or less curious if this would be a feasible approach, if I were to get the credit card log and say I find multiple people with his name, would I be able to get court ordered DNA tests to all of them? Could they refuse to take these if they said they don't know me?
    If you file for assistance they'll ask you for the name of the father. If you don't know the father, that's what you say. They will still give you government assistance - yes. You can get assistance if you don't know the father. My ex husband didn't know about his oldest son until he was 2 months old - she was getting assistance. (She thought it was someone else til that test came back negative - his oldest son is also the result of a one night stand).

    You're not going to probably get a credit card log or video footage. If you don't know the father, you don't know. You can ask people who were with you that night if they remember who he is or anything about him. But it's pretty likely you won't find him and you're not getting child support from him.

    Find a lawyer who does free consultations because you're not going to accomplish anything on your own. It seems like you're not going to figure out who the sperm donor is.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Child Support when I Only Know Father's First Name

    This isn't my area of expertise but I know enough to say, No. First off, it's unlikely that you'll get the credit card log without a court order and for a court order there needs to be a suit already in place, even if it's against John Doe. Second, there is such a thing as privacy rights; no court is going to order DNA tests on multiple men on the off chance that one of them might be your guy.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Child Support when I Only Know Father's First Name

    What if, by chance, the report did only show one person with his name? Would that be enough for the court to order a DNA test on him?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Child Support when I Only Know Father's First Name

    Possibly, but I'll let someone who deals more with family law than I do say for certain.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Child Support when I Only Know Father's First Name

    Quote Quoting merphlemench
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    If I were to decide against child support for this reason, would I be able to receive governmental assistance if I can't find this man? Or do they also need more information on the man?
    We have no way of knowing the extent to which you might be eligible for one or more forms of "governmental assistance."

    FWIW, if you think you might need "governmental assistance," maybe you should consider that taking this pregnancy full term isn't the smartest thing to do.

    Quote Quoting merphlemench
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    I'm more or less curious if this would be a feasible approach, if I were to get the credit card log and say I find multiple people with his name, would I be able to get court ordered DNA tests to all of them? Could they refuse to take these if they said they don't know me?
    If a court orders them to submit to a DNA test, they could, in theory, refuse, but that wouldn't go over real well with the court. Only a local attorney is going to be able to advise you about whether the courts in your area would be receptive to the sort of witch hunt you're describing. Regardless, the more time that passes, the less likely it becomes that credit card records will even be available (after two months, it's pretty much a certainty that any video footage that existed has been deleted). You need to s**t or get off the pot.

    Quote Quoting merphlemench
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    What if, by chance, the report did only show one person with his name? Would that be enough for the court to order a DNA test on him?
    I think "cbg's" skepticism is off the mark given that courts tend to be very solicitous of efforts to have both parents support their child. That said, only a local attorney will be able to offer you useful information about what the local judges are and aren't inclined to order.

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