CanI file a lawsuit and possibly win?

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CanI file a lawsuit and possibly win?

I’m currently in a case with my son’s mother. She is trying to have courts get rid of my affidavit of parentage saying I’m not the father and she showed this in court with a paternity test with bioligical father. In court she stated she has known this for about 2 or 3 years. The test was actually done in 2006 but didn’t pay for results until 2008. She hid the fact that he might not be my son from me for over 4 years. We also had a change of domicle case. Not once was there mention of paternity. I feel she should pay for my lawyer’s fees and pain and suff. i would say child support but to me he is my son.

Asked on May 6, 2009 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

In American courts, people usually have to pay for their own lawyers' fees.  There are exceptions, but this case probably isn't one of them, especially if the mother doesn't have a lot of money herself.

The fact that she knew you weren't the father but did nothing about it for years (as she testified, whether or not it's true), should work against her, since she let you go on paying child support.  I'm assuming that you spent time with your son, or at least tried to but were prevented from doing that by the mother, and that she's brought this to court now so she can cut you off from the boy.  She has more or less admitted to fraud, when it comes to the child support.

If you still spend time with the boy, if he still calls you "daddy" or something like that, then the court can decide that you are the "psychological parent." The court can also order that all three of you see a psychologist or social worker, for an expert and impartial idea of whether or not that's true.

On the other hand, if she is able to persuade the court that the boy is not your son in any sense of the word, you should get back the child support payments you made, for at least the last two years.  Don't think of this as taking the money back from your son, think of this as the only way you'll get her to pay at least some of your legal fees.  And don't be surprised if she gets years to pay you off, a little each week, with no interest.

I hope you already have an attorney.  If not, you can find a lawyer at http://attorneypages.com


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