Paternity and Child Support Lawyers

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 Why is Paternity a Problem in Child Support?

Paternity is a direct problem that comes up in child support claims. The basis for this is because a biological father generally owes a duty to their child or children to support and provide for their primary necessities. To enforce the duty to pay child support, it is crucial first to establish the child’s biological father.

Nonetheless, the laws overseeing paternity can often be incoherent and deviate depending on each state. For instance, each state has its own way of classifying how the laws regard the definition of “father.” Accordingly, whether the father is responsible for child support or not could be determined based on how a state statute specifies paternity.

In addition, the party pursuing child support will have to establish that the individual is, in fact, the legal father of the child. This can be done by subjecting the alleged father to a paternity test or paternity DNA testing and by filing what is known as a “paternity action” with a court. The court can also order the individual to undergo a different blood or DNA test.

If the test results confirm that the person is the child’s biological father, the court can levy an order to pay child support. Therefore, paternity might be a problem in a child support case since it will affect the result of the decision.

Basics of Legal Paternity

Proving paternity is the legal procedure used by the court to specify the child’s biological father. Until the court resolves paternity, the child’s father doesn’t have any dues or obligations to the child, indicating no responsibility to pay child support or right to enjoy custody or visitation with the child. Either parent can petition the court to establish paternity, or the court can unfurl a paternity case independently.

What is Acknowledged Paternity?

A child born to unmarried parents doesn’t automatically have a lawful father. To prove paternity, a biological father can recognize paternity in writing through what is occasionally called an affidavit of parentage, or both parents can consent to paternity. An acknowledged father must pay child support.

What is Presumed Fatherhood?

In most states, if a couple was married when the child was conceived or born, the husband is presumed to be the child’s biological father. Nevertheless, some states invalidate the hypothesis if the couple was divorced at conception or the child’s birth.
In most states, the presumption is “rebuttable,” indicating the man can debunk paternity by filing a legal appeal with the court.

Depending on your relationship status after the child is born, even unmarried men may encounter the presumption of fatherhood if any of the ensuing are true:

  • The man tried to marry the mother (even if the marriage wasn’t proper), and the child was conceived or born during the endeavored marriage
  • The couple lawfully married after the child was born, and the husband decided to place his signature on the birth certificate or to sustain the child financially, or
  • The man admitted the child into his dwelling and sincerely held the offspring out to be his own.

Refuting presumed paternity is time-sensitive, so a presumed father must confer with an adept lawyer if he deems the presumption incorrect. Failure to file a timely legal plea could result in the court instructing you to pay child support for a child that isn’t biologically yours.

What is Alleged Fatherhood?

An alleged father is an unwed man who the court deems to be the biological parent of a child. In some circumstances, the other parent will allege paternity naming the man in a paternity suit to specify child support and custodial privileges.

Unlike presumed paternity, where the father has to discredit the allegation, the court must permit alleged fathers to partake in a DNA or other type of paternity test before moving onward with any child support or parenting claim.

The law instructs both biological parents to help their children financially. If a mother applies for or acquires public assistance, the state may get a paternity case against the alleged father to recoup any monetary aid furnished for the child.

What If I Have Been Supplying Child Support, but a DNA Test Proves I am Not the Father?

Suppose a person who has been paying child support uncovers that they are not the child’s biological father. In that circumstance, they will have some alternatives available that can stop them from making other future payments.

If it turns out that they are not the child’s biological father, a man can be freed from the duty to pay child support. However, this hinges on the circumstances of a case since specific descriptions of “father” may still be directed to pay, such as if they are an “acknowledged” father.

It is crucial to note that even if a person has been paying child support and later on it is decided that they are not the child’s father, they will not get repayment for past child support expenditures. Instead, they can seek repayment of any child support amounts disbursed from the actual biological father if they can locate and pinpoint him correctly. Again, this is another reason why paternity can be a problem in child support cases.

What Transpires If My Wife Gives Birth to a Baby that is Not Mine?

A legal notion known as “dual paternity” permits the child to obtain aid from their biological father, even if the mother is married to another man when she gives birth. Although both men could be deemed the “father” of that child, only the man who is the child’s biological father will be instructed to make child support payments.

However, if the biological father cannot be located or determined, the other person may have to pay child support in a breakup or divorce.

If a Woman Declares I Am the Father of Her Child, but I Know I am Not, Do I Need to Show Up in Court?

Regardless of whether the person is the father, they must appear in court. Although it may be time-consuming and might appear unneeded, showing up in court can preserve a person from a lot of severe legal impacts in the end.

For example, in the eyes of the legal system, when an individual forgets to appear or explicitly repudiate allegations that they understand are not accurate and do nothing about them, the court can take their acts as facts that have been admitted.

Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer to Assist with Matters Involving Paternity?

Paternity and child support are two of the most bitterly combated issues within a family law courtroom. These issues have not only an impact on the parties’ lives but also on the child’s life and upbringing as well.

As such, if you have any inquiries or apprehensions involving a paternity matter, then you should contemplate speaking with a local family lawyer for further help.

An adept family lawyer can help you defend your rights regardless of whether you are the biological father or not. A lawyer will also discuss your legal opportunities and can represent you during any affiliated court hearings or meetings on the matter. Use LegalMatch to find a lawyer near you today.

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