Q: I have a child support case in NY The birth certificate was signed in PR DNA proves the child not mine. How do proceed?
I reside in NY now for many years. Child lives with her mom in another state. The birth certificate was signed in PR many years ago. Recently it has come to light through paternity test that the child is not mine. I want to stop payments and take my last name as father from the birth certificate. Do I have to go to PR personally to open my case?
A: Any action must take place in the state (or territory) where the child has lived forvthe past 6 months.
Daniel Michael Luisi agrees with this answer
I agree with the previous lawyer. Jurisdiction over your matter is restricted to the child's state of residence pursuant to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, UIFSA, codified in New York at N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 580-101. If you file in another state, your case will likely be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction before you even have a chance to present the DNA evidence. You must retain an attorney experienced in family law who is licensed in the state of the child's domicile.
Another point to consider is the following. Even if the DNA test shows you are not the biological father, in New York, there is a legal concept known as equitable estoppel, by which the court may adjudge you obligated as the father nevertheless. This doctrine applies "where a child justifiably relies on the representations of a man that he is his or her father with the result that he or she will be harmed by the man's denial of paternity, the man may be estopped from making such a denial." It will turn on the particular facts and history of your relationship with your child. It may not be as easy as you think to end it.
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