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How do I get a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity set aside?

A previous post on this blog discussed how men in Springfield, Illinois, can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity as an easy way to become the legal father of a child.

Signing this Acknowledgement grants important fathers' rights to the man, but along with those rights, it also imparts important responsibilities, including the responsibility to support the child financially.

This is usually no issue when the man knows the child is his biological offspring, but it can become a serious problem if a man discovers he is not in fact the biological father of the child for which he has taken responsibility.

As the previous post mentioned, a man can set aside his Acknowledgement, but he must do so within 60 days of the day the Acknowledgement goes in to effect, which is usually close to the child's birthday. He must file a separate document and follow all instructions when doing so. He is also responsible for making sure any court orders already entered get set aside or revisited. The 60-day deadline is strict; once it passes, the man should consider himself the legal father of the child.

Still, there may be some circumstances under which the 60-day deadline passes for reasons that are not the man's fault. For instance, the mom of the child or someone else may have lied or otherwise tricked the man in to signing the form. In these sort of limited circumstances, a man may still have some legal options for setting aside child support and custody orders related to the Acknowledgement, but he will likely want the help of an attorney when doing so.

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