Determining a child’s paternity is not always a straightforward process, and circumstances have given rise to many legal rules. Below is a basic guide to paternity law and how it can affect a child support case.
When a Child’s Paternity is Presumed or Agreed Upon
When parents are unmarried and have a child, the male is the acknowledged father, and paternity is established by the father’s admission or by parental agreement. Acknowledged fathers are legally liable for child support. Presumed fatherhood can occur under the following circumstances:
The male and female were married when the child was conceived or born, although some states do not presume a man to be the father if a couple is separated.
The man tried to marry the child’s mother, and the child was conceived during that time
The man held the child to be his own, and welcomed him or her into the home.
In some areas, any presumption of paternity is conclusive, which means that it can’t be proven wrong even with a blood test–and all presumed fathers must make child support payments.
Parenting laws have changed significantly in the last few years. In Paulding County, a spouse who is not a child’s legal parent can hire Business Name to petition for visitation and/or custody under the equitable parenting notion. Courts use the concept when a relationship exists between a child and a spouse, and that spouse fulfills the role of a parent. If custody or visitation are granted, the equitable parent is also liable for child support.
A man who fathers a child out of wedlock is often called an alleged (unwed) father. An alleged father is required to pay support if he acknowledges paternity, or if it determined by the court. Alleged fathers have visitation and custody rights as well.
A stepfather is a legal mother’s spouse, but not the biological father of her children. A stepfather is not legally obligated to support the woman’s children unless he legally adopts them.
Paternity and child support law are complex, regardless of residency. For help and advice specific to your case, call a Child Support Attorney in Paulding County today.