Truth and Consequences: Part I. Disestablishing the Paternity of Non-Marital Children
Publication Date: March 2003
Publisher(s): Center for Law and Social Policy
Author(s): Paula Roberts
Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Coverage: United States
Since there is little federal guidance on challenging paternity acknowledgements, the issue has been left largely in the hands of state legislatures and courts. In some states, there are detailed procedures for challenging paternity acknowledgments; in other states, there is little or no statutory guidance in this area. Some states have statutory and case law to guide the process of paternity disestablishment when paternity has been adjudicated or presumed, while others offer little guidance.
This document reviews the recent statutory and case law in this area and offers recommendations for bringing greater fairness and clarity to the process. (Case law updated in August 2003.)