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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Question Disestablishing Paternity After DNA Proves Man Is Not The Biological Father

    My question involves paternity law for the State of: TENNESSEE

    Here is the case to date:

    -Woman gets pregnant and names man she has non-marital 6 yr on/off relationship with as father
    -Man does not doubt paternity, signs AOP and BC in hospital
    -Child Support nor visitation never legally established
    -Man files for custody when child is around 2 yrs after an argument and fear mother will file for legal child support. Mother never has been on government assistance.
    -Man again acknowledges paternity and waives right to DNA testing and was represented by attorney
    -Mother given sole custody, arrears and regular child support. Temp. order for visitation set due to parties not in agreement for summer schedule
    -Man does not pay as ordered and files for motion to set aside part of child support until final hearing. Judge agreed, but stated all arrears from start of case to be brought current prior to final hearing
    - Eight months after case began, couple weeks prior to final hearing man has DNA test done that excluded him as bio-dad
    -Man files motion to disestablish paternity, be taken off birth certificate and be relieved of arrears and child support
    -Judge denies motion and does not allow the DNA test (mother's attorney stated state laws and judge agreed based on laws. I am not sure what laws were used)
    -Judge also included that due to the man continuously coming to court with unclean hands he would not grant his relief and orders the man to continue paying child support.
    -Man has not paid support or visited the child since (about 2 months) and the mother is going to file contempt

    To date that is it.

    We do not know, could not and would not want to find the bio-dad because he raped the mother resulting in the conception. She stated the rapist did not penetrate so she did not question paternity. Only myself and her attorney know this info.

    Right now it feel like he is using the child as a pawn by not visiting him, which is awful, yet the man stated he loves the child and has no problem raising him as his own knowing he is not the bio-dad. But, obviously, he does not want the financial obligation. Regardless of the outcome the mother would not stop the child from seeing this man and his family. She has begged him to please see the child during this battle for the child's sake, but he will not.

    This child also has major chronic medical problems and the mother cannot work full-time because of all his medical needs. Not getting child support would put her in major financial hardship. She is working aweful nightime hours so she can care for his therapies and doctor visits during the day. I worry about her not being able to get a break now that he does not take the child for the weekend and other times. She does not have a close knit family to help her. And with his medical needs she cannot just leave the child with anyone.

    I would not agree to a man paying child support for a child that is not his, but I feel that he is only doing this to avoid paying child support. He was not decieved or lied to for any personal gain on her part. She never asked for child support, just help. She only got it when the man filed for custody, I feel, out of spite.

    What are his chances of getting the court to order a DNA test? She will not agree to one at this point. She does not want the rape to be known.

    Will he legally be able to disestablish paternity?

    Any legal or personal insight appreciated!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Disestablish Paternity After DNA Proves Man Is Not The Biological Father

    Check Tennessee code 36-2-104.
    An action to rebut paternity in Tennessee must be brought before the child turns 2.
    If the child is over two, then this man is the legal father, with the legal obligations of any bio dad.
    The court it's looking out for the best interest of the child not the man's best interest.
    You can go to and type 36-2-104 on the search and the law will come up.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Question Re: Disestablish Paternity After DNA Proves Man Is Not The Biological Father

    Thank you for your reply. I have read through the TN statutes over and over as well as case studies. It seems like there are so many holes in the laws and it is not that clear cut.

    I know most of you reading this think I am crazy for trying to help the mother and the child, but there is a lot more to this case than just the legal facts.

    Can anyone tell me what he will need to petition the court for a DNA test? How easy or hard will it be for him?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Disestablish Paternity After DNA Proves Man Is Not The Biological Father

    It's my understanding that it's to late to rebut paternity.
    Even if the court agreed with DNA, and it excluded him, Tennessee only has a two year statue of limitation on paternity.
    Unless the bio comes forward, which at this point if the child is 6 and he knows his legal father as dad, the court will and should take the best interest of the child first.
    I think you will need to call Court Clerk in your county and be more specific about your situation and not so vague. Because it will be the only way that
    anyone with legal expertise will be able to help you.
    Your standing in the situation, since it's apparent you really don't want to disclose any specifics. No one will be able to give any specific advice.
    Every situation it's different. There's no a fix all solution.
    I would consult with an attorney.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Disestablish Paternity After DNA Proves Man Is Not The Biological Father

    I am not sure what other more specific information on her case I can give. What more can I tell you? I will give whatever specifics that would help.

    We are now positive the "legal father" is not the bio-dad, but in the child's eyes he is "daddy" as well as the dad's family. If the child was an infant it would not be so difficult, but this child talks about his daddy all the time and being almost 4 I don't know how it would affect the child emotionally to never see his "daddy" again. This situation is not something a 4 year old could comprehend.

    Honestly, what kind of legal battle is she looking at? I know that she has already spent over $5000.00 in legal fees just due to the "legal father" filing for custody in the first place.

    Again, any advice or critisizm, good or bad, is very much appreciated.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Disestablishing Paternity After DNA Proves Man Is Not The Biological Father

    It's likely that the court will hold him responsible for child support.
    But, you can't force a man to be a dad. The courts can't not force this man
    to visit and love his child. All they can do, it's to force him to support the child.
    Let's take the fact that the child is not bio his. Even if it was you could not
    force someone to be there if they don't want to.
    You can't force him to love the child, visit the child, do things with the child if he doesn't want to. What would you like the courts to do? Force the man to love and visit and spend time with the child?
    If you add into the mix that he is now resenting the child for not being his physically speaking. I would not expose the child to that type of damage.
    File for sole custody, let the courts deal with support and with him.
    Get the kid some counseling, enroll him in church, do positive things with him to keep his mind away from the situation. Do not talk good or bad about dad, maybe in time the man will come to his senses and see that he still loves the child, and hope that he will pick up where he left off with his child.

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