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Illinois bill would allow fathers to challenge paternity

A proposed bill in Illinois could change child support orders for many parents in the state. The bill would allow a father to challenge the paternity of a child after the statute of limitations has expired, if there is DNA evidence that supports the father's claim that he is not the father.

If the proposed bill is passed, fathers could use the law to challenge their child support payments and possibly have their child support orders stopped. Individuals would have to take a DNA test to prove they are not the father of the child they are paying child support for.

The bill was proposed after an Illinois man found out he had been paying child support for several years before learning that the child was not biologically his. Under current laws, the man is still required to pay child support because he did not file a petition to challenge the paternity within the two-year statute of limitations.

The man said that he did not challenge the paternity sooner because he had no reason to believe the child was not his. He had only learned that he was not the father two years ago when he had a DNA test after meeting the child for the first time in 2011. He has been paying child support since 2001.

If the bill is passed, this man could take another DNA test to prove that he is not the child's biological child, and he could petition the court to end his child support obligations.

Source: The News-Gazette, "Child support bill approved," Tom Kacich, April 24, 2013

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