Can I be in trouble for fraudulently filling out an Acknowledgement of Paternity if it was never mailed to the office of Vital Statistics?

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Can I be in trouble for fraudulently filling out an Acknowledgement of Paternity if it was never mailed to the office of Vital Statistics?

On 08/01/06 I signed an Acknowledgement of Paternity along with my ex-boyfriend in order for my daughter to have his last name and for him to be listed as the father on her birth certificate. He happens to be the father of my son. We both did this in agreement knowing that he was not actually my daughter’s biological father (she was 2 months old when we met). We simply wanted both children to have the same last name. Even though we signed and notarized the form, I never mailed it to the office of Vital Statistics. Now it is 01/11 and we will most likely go to court for his non-payment of child support concerning our son. He has stated that if I proceed with court he will bring to light that I fraudulently signed the AOP regarding my daughter. He has sent photos of the form with the words “2-10 years prison term and $10,000 fine”highlighted, followed by the words “which do you want to play with”. Basically, threatening that if I take him to court “I” will end up in jail or fined. He also knowingly and willingly signed a document stating he was the biological father. Again, I never mailed the document and her birth certificate and social security card remain the same, and I have never taken any legal action to collect financial support for my daughter. I noticed the AOP form stated any party protesting has 4 years to do so. That time has past. Can I go to jail and be fined 4 1/2 years later? Isn’t he just as responsible for fraud? What options do I have to correct this matter?

Asked on January 13, 2011 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

He has no right to blackmail you in order to get out of the child support that he rightfully owes. And you are correct: he signed the form as well so if he decides to bring it to the attention of the Court he will be found to be just as guilty.  Let him know that in no uncertain terms you will make sure that if you go down, he goes down with you.  I would seek some counsel on the issue.  The fact that you did not file the form is a good thing so even though you filled out the form you did not actually perpetrate a fraud on anyone.  So I would not really worry and I would go ahead and file for the support.  Let him prove you filed it.  Good luck. 


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