Saturday, March 14, 2009

Voluntary Acknowledgments of Paternity

I met with a client last week who just discovered that the child who he has been supporting for the last twenty-two months is not actually his child. He found out just in time too.

On May 1, 2007, my client signed a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity ("VAP"). The mother of the child had convinced him at that time that he was the father. Recently, certain comments made by the mother have led my client to believe that he was not the father. So, he took the child to the clinic for a paternity test. The test excluded my client as the father.

Voluntary acknowledgements of paternity are "conclusive presumptions" that operate as final judgments of paternity and "serve as a basis for seeking a child support order without any further proceedings to establish paternity." 750 ILCS 45/6(b).

Illinois law allows for sixty days in which to rescind a VAP. After sixty days, the only way to vacate a VAP is to file a 2-1401 petition on the limited grounds of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact. Illinois Dept. of Public Aid v. Graham, 328 Ill.App.3d 433 (3rd Dist. 2002).

As you know, 1401 petitions must be filed within two years of the judgment. So, on May 1, 2009, my client would have would have lost the right to vacate his VAP, and he would have been obligated to support this child for the next sixteen years. He made it here just in time.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post. Our organization contends that all single men should not sign "Voluntary Acknowledgments of Paternity" until he has the results of a legal DNA paternity test in hand or support mandatory legal DNA testing at birth.

This is one of the ways that men become victimized by paternity fraud .

Think about it ... no chance of fraud or mistaken paternity if men alleged to be biological fathers are confirmed by DNA.

Then men could make an informed decision based on facts not the mothers biased claim that "you are the father" when legal DNA testing will reveal "you are NOT the father".

Keep up the great job counselor.

Carnell Smith PfV
US Citizens Against Paternity Fraud

Paternity Testing said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

My son has a similar situation and is trying to determine where to start to rectify it. The child was born in Jan/08 and my son signed the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity on the day the child was born. An order for child support was enterd in June/08 and is current. My son had a DNA test done in Feb/09 and it has been determined that there is 0% possiblility of paternity. Is it possible that you could refer us to an attorney that could handle this case for him? I just don't feel that it's right for him to have to pay for a child that isn't his for the rest of that child's life when my son was under the assumption that the girlfriend and he were in a monogamous relationship and that this child was his. That's deceit.

Michael W. Huseman said...

Where does your son live?

Anonymous said...

We live in Burnham, Illinois which is right by Calumet City, Illinois. He signed the "VAP" in good faith thinking that he was the biological father. He's young, was excited about the baby and just wasn't thinking that the baby wasn't his.

Michael W. Huseman said...

Call me at 630-897-8764.

Anonymous said...

What day and time would be good to give you a call?

Michael W. Huseman said...

Any day after 1:00 p.m.

Anonymous said...

Okay, if I get an opportunity to call you today I will but if not i'll call you tomorrow when i'm off work and can talk privately.

Thanks for your help.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Huseman, was your client able to get his Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity vacated?

Michael W. Huseman said...

It has not been decided yet. We have a hearing scheduled for mid-May.

Please email me directly at mhuseman@dreyerfoote.com with any further questions.

Anonymous said...

Sure, thank you.

miles said...

Hello Michael Huseman. I have a VAP case pending. In my situation I had a daughter born on feb 16 2002. The hospital brought me the wrong babies VAP! I signed it and now the erronius mother is trying to receive child support from me. I'm scheduled to begin my first payment on jun 5 2009. I petitioned to have it vacated today. No legal lawyer. On jun 4 2009 it will be 30 days. Is the hospital liable? And how do I get this back in court? Signed, thouroughly disgusted!

Michael W. Huseman said...

Miles, email me directly at mhuseman@dreyerfoote.com or call me at 630-897-8764 so that we can discuss the specific facts of your case.