There is a presumption of paternity in Connecticut that applies to married couples. If your wife has a child during your marriage, your name automatically goes on the birth certificate unless you take steps to prevent that from happening.
Even if you suspected that the child was not yours biologically, you may have bonded with them and enjoyed being their father. You may never have even asked your spouse, despite real questions regarding the timing of the conception and birth.
However, now as you consider a divorce from the mother, the question of paternity may weigh more heavily on your mind. Although many paternity proceedings in Connecticut seek to prove that a man is the father of a child, genetic tests can also achieve the opposite and demonstrate that he is not the father. Challenging paternity in court might mean that you don’t have to pay child support.
However, there are risks that come with proving that you did not father a child.
You lose custody rights
If the Connecticut courts look at the results of the genetic test and agree that you are not the father of the child, you won’t have to worry about child support in most cases. The change in your relationship with the child will also mean that you no longer have the right to ask for shared custody or visitation.
Any time you have with a child would depend on the goodwill of the mother toward you. She may be unlikely to cooperate with you after the embarrassment of the paternity proceedings. Your entire family, including your parents, could wind up cut off from the child you raised as your own.
You could lose your relationship with the child
Even if the mother of your child agrees to let you see the kid after you prove you are not the father, the child may not want to see you. You could do irreparable damage to your relationship with the child even if you intended to preserve your relationship with them.
You will have to weigh the possibility of these consequences with the benefits you would derive from avoiding child support by disproving your paternal relationship with the child. Careful consideration can help you make better decisions about complex and emotional custody matters in a Connecticut divorce.