I’m not the biological father. Do I have to pay child support?

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2024 | Firm News |

Divorce comes with several implications. If you have a child together, the court will require both parents to work out how the child will be provided for until they can be on their own. This is where a child support order comes in.

But what if you later learn that the child is not yours? Or, what if your spouse came into the marriage with a child? Do you still have to pay child support?

If a child is born while you are married to the mother, the law recognizes you as the child’s legal father unless proven otherwise. As such, you will be expected to pay child support in the event of a divorce. The same applies if you adopt a child during the marriage.

But what if the biological father is known?

Subject to the prevailing circumstances, the court may direct them to take a paternity test. And if the result is positive, they may be directed to assume their fatherhood role, which includes providing for their child.

Modifying an existing child support order

Even if your ex admits that the child is not yours, you may not on your own volition stop paying child support. Doing so is a violation that can attract severe penalties. That said, if you can show that you are not the child’s biological father, then you may petition the court to modify the existing order. Of course, whether the court will modify the order or not largely depends on the facts of your case.

Child support when you are not the child’s biological father can be a complex subject. Understanding your legal options can help to ensure that you do not make mistakes that could hurt your child support case.

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