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TOPIC: Disputing Paternity

Disputing Paternity 1 month 3 weeks ago #111040

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Hi,

My partner has been contacted by the CMS about a child that is supposedly his. He doesn't remember ever having sex with the lady in question so is disputing Paternity. He's tried to do this a few times in the past but they sent paperwork to the wrong place or phoned the wrong number. They supposedly have all the correct information now and with access to the online account, he can check that as well even if they send things to the wrong place.

Assuming they don't mess up this time, what is the rough timescale that he's looking at for the CMS to arrange the DNA test and for the results to be given? As well as this, my partner is worried that she will refuse for the DNA test to be done. If she refuses, what happens to my partner with regards to CMS?

Also, my partner has built up a large ammouy of arrears as they've been sending post asking for payment to the wrong address. If the child isn't my partners, any tips on how to try and dispute it?

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Last Edit: by ghj.

Disputing Paternity 1 month 3 weeks ago #111041

There's quite a bit of information on the .gov website:

If you’re ordered to get a test by the Child Maintenance Service, they’ll tell you which laboratory to use.

Fees for child maintenance cases
You have to pay the test fee of £239.40 if the Child Maintenance Service asks you to get a test because they think you might be the parent. It’ll be refunded if the test shows that you’re not the parent.

The fee will be higher if more than one child is tested.

The Child Maintenance Service may pay the test fee if you cannot afford to pay it. You’ll have to pay it back if you’re proved to be the parent.

Surely if she refuses, she can't pursue the claim?

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Disputing Paternity 1 month 3 weeks ago #111042

I find it hard to believe that this has just landed from outer space on your partner ("doesn't remember"), but regardless check the following: www.gov.uk/manage-child-maintenance-case...ents-about-parentage

Your partner will be expected in most cases to pay CMS until it is proved otherwise.

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Disputing Paternity 1 month 3 weeks ago #111043

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It's not landed from outer space, it's been going on a while with my partner contacting them to dispute paternity and then CMS sending the follow ups to old addresses but when it's them asking for money, it magically comes to the correct address. As he now has access to the online account, going to keep checking that to ensure the paternity issue can be finally sorted.

I believe my partner that kid isn't his, he apparently only knew her through mutual friends and when she was pregnant etc she never mentioned to him that he could be the father apparently. I didn't know him then and don't really care if he had sex with her or not and for various reasons, I believe him. I know when he was speaking to CMS yesterday, he's only down as parent as she told them, nothing on birth certificate etc.

He knows there's a fee for the DNA test which he's happy to pay as he wants to know if the kid is his. Still wondering now that the ball has started, roughly how long it will take for it to be arranged and results to be provided. He was prepared to pay yesterday while on the phone to them but apparently that happens later on. He's also worried she'll refuse the DNA test. He has no contact with the mum and kid and no way of contacting them (different city etc) and doesn't believe that she will cooperate and that he'll be stuck paying for a kid he doesn't think is his with no way to dispute that.

If kid does turn out to be his, he'll happily pay the maintenance and also wants to meet the kid and set up regular visitation. From my end this isn't an issue, I'm happy for him to meet the kid (and for me to meet kid too) and have the kid stay over etc. but obviously want paternity sorted first.

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Disputing Paternity 1 month 3 weeks ago #111078

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So, had a call from CMS today with a few updates:


1) Due to covid, payments for DNA tests aren't being taken upfront. My partner has been told that if he is the father, then he will have to pay the £240 for the DNA test. We've been told that Cellmark should be in touch in the next few weeks about how to do the DNA test.


2) Kids mum has recently told CMS for the first that the child hasn't been living with her since September 2019. My partner got contacted by a solicitor round then but never heard more so with that and CMS saying he had to pay her maintenance, he thought she was still looking after the child.


3) The change in circumstances means that the arrears will either be wiped if my partner is not the parent or adjusted to reflect when the mum stopped looking after the child of my partner is the father.


4) Unrelated to CMS, if the child is in care as we suspect and my partner is the father, (CMS won't say more than "mum doesn't have parental responsibility anymore") then we have to find out the current care situation and consider if the best thing for the child is to come and live with is permanently or to stay where they are. The reason we're unsure is that there is the possibility that the child is living with grandparents rather than foster parents so without knowing more, we can't make any decisions.

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Last Edit: by ghj.

Disputing Paternity 1 month 3 weeks ago #111097

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Once you have established paternity, if your partner is the father then there are steps you can take to locate the child.

Sounds very complex.

Best of luck to you both

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I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.
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