Because divorce and adultery isn’t complicated enough, sometimes you get to find out your marriage is over through incredibly cruel means such as finding out your Wife is pregnant with another man’s child. So now not only are you dealing with the complete and utter betrayal that comes from finding out about extramarital affairs, you get the extra fun legal complication of being the presumed father of her love child as well. Yes you read that correctly, you are the presumed legal father until it is shown otherwise.
T.C.A. 36-2-304 says that the Husband is the presumed Father where “the man and the child’s mother are married or have been married to each other and the child is born during the marriage or within three hundred (300) days after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce.” This is a rebuttable presumption, which means you can go and show through DNA testing that you are not the Father, but until that happens you are the legal father which has implications for inheritance, child support, support of the Mother through pregnancy, and a myriad of other things. So guess who gets their name on the birth certificate? And yes, child support will pursue you for payments for this child.
It is very important that you seek counsel immediately if your spouse is pregnant by another man to make sure your legal rights are protected, because until the Court says otherwise you are the father of that child. Further, if you are the biological father of a child with a married woman, you may need to intervene or file your own action to protect YOUR rights because you will need to defeat the presumption to establish parentage and get any legal rights to your child in Tennessee.
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Is this happening to you? Call attorney Morgan Smith at (615) 620-5848 to schedule an appointment to retain her to protect your rights.
What if you find out that the child isn’t yours and you’re in the middle of a divorce. Can you sue and is that paternity fraud?
Paternity fraud falls under intentional misrepresentation in Tennessee per our Supreme Court. If you caught it early enough you may be able to disestablish paternity but the rules on that are very strict and the statute of limitations is very short.