Protecting Yourself from Paternity Fraud


Pasadena family law lawyers know that establishing paternity is an important step in any child support case. However, paternity fraud is becoming a growing problem.

Paternity fraud occurs when a woman acknowledges the wrong man as the biological father of her child. The term applies to both a willful deception and cases where a woman merely suspects that a man might not be the father of her child.

Paternity fraud is more common than the average person might expect. Many labs that conduct paternity tests find that between 25 and 30 percent of all test results come back excluding the man originally named as the father.

Men who are victims of paternity fraud face a struggle in the courtroom. The court alone decides whether or not a man needs to continue paying child support after paternity fraud is discovered. The court can order a man who has proven he is not the biological father of the child to continue paying child support if he has previously been acting as the child's father if the payments are in the best interest of the child or if there is a danger of the child being a public charge if the payments stop.

California, County of Los Angeles v. Navarro is one of the best known cases involving paternity fraud. Manuel Navarro was ordered to pay support for a child he had not fathered even after he produced a DNA test proving that he was not the father. The mother of the children had provided the name Manuel Nava when she applied for public assistance payments. Los Angeles County determined Mr. Navarro was the father based on this limited information and ordered him to pay $247 per month in child support. Mr. Navarro was first ordered to pay child support in 1996, but he didn't succeed in getting his support payments stopped until 2004.

A man who suspects he is the victim of paternity fraud needs to contact an experienced attorney immediately in order to reduce the risk of being order to continue paying support until the child reaches the age of majority.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at if you have questions about how to handle a paternity fraud case. Our Pasadena family law firm can help make sure that your interests are protected in the courtroom.