Paternity Rights:Over the last 50 years the number of children born to unmarried parents has increased from 5% to 41%. This change from the typical family unit has caused an increase in conflicts between the unwed parents when issues regarding child support and visitation arise, usually at the detriment of the father. As an unwed father, it is important to be informed of your rights concerning your child so that the mother does not dictate your visitation schedule or regulate your ability to co-parent your child.
Paying child support can be a frustrating experience, especially when the child is not biologically yours. A CBS article reported a Dallas man was jailed because it was alleged he owed more than $50,000 in unpaid child support to a child that turned out was not his.
The passing of a new Texas paternity law that gives men who doubt paternity a chance to file a claim allowed the man to contest the accusation that he was the biological father. After a DNA paternity test disproved the claim of paternity, the man was released from jail.
By Daniel Lambert
Cordell & Cordell Family Law Attorney
Where I practice, child support is set in paternity actions pursuant to each party's income and the placement/visitation schedule awarded to each party. Child support only becomes effective through an order of the court. If there is no court order for child support, then a party would have to request child support.
It is not possible in some states to waive child support entirely. It is possible to deviate from the set child support schedules established by the state guidelines that require payment, though.
Paternity Laws Question:
My wife and I are getting divorced. She is pregnant with another man's baby and will probably have the baby before our divorce is final.
What do I need to do to protect myself against having to pay child support for the child that is not biologically mine, but will likely be born while I am married to the child's mother?
Do I have paternity rights in this case?
Marriage rates have reached an all-time low meaning more children are being born out of wedlock. This issue of paternity is one of the more complex areas of family law.
Many men are curious about what an unwed father's legal responsibilities are to a child born outside of a marriage. Will he automatically have to pay child support? Is he the legal father of the child?
A package of laws designed to give biological fathers rights when their child is born to a married woman is awaiting a vote in the Michigan legislature.
Currently, Michigan law does not give parental rights to biological fathers if the mother of the child is married at the time of the child's birth to another man.
Daniel Quinn wanted visitation rights and to pay child support after a court-ordered DNA test proved he was the biological father of a daughter born to Candace Beckwith, who was married to another man at the time.
However, Michigan courts have continually denied his appeal because biological fathers have no parental standing in these situations, according to state law.
A stepfather is just as much a father as the biological dad when it comes to paternity suits, according to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
The court ruled that the child's stepfather as well as the child's biological father should both be parties when the legal presumption of fatherhood is decided on matters establishing paternity and child support.
When financially supporting the child through child support is involved, this confusing area of law becomes even more complex.
In this divorce article, I'll review two major issues of paternity law: signing the birth certificate will not necessarily obligate a man to pay child support and even if you are not the biological father, the court may still require you to pay child support.
The court dismissed Mexican-born Ruben Flores-Villar's challenge of the citizenship law.
Currently, children born overseas who have one U.S.-citizen parent can obtain U.S. citizenship if the citizen parent had been physically present in the U.S. for a certain period of time before the child’s birth, according to the Supreme Court's blog.
If the citizen parent is the father, the period is five years; if it is the mother, the period is one year.
So it is much easier for mothers to pass on citizenship to their children than for fathers.
The case of a New Mexico man who paid for a billboard ad to protest his ex-girlfriend's decision to have an abortion against his wishes has once again brought up the father's rights and paternity rights issue of whether a man should have the right to stop a woman from aborting their child.
According to the Associated Press, a billboard in New Mexico shows 35-year-old Greg Fultz holding the outline of an infant. The text reads, "This Would Have Been A Picture Of My 2-Month Old Baby If The Mother Had Decided To Not KILL Our Child!"
Courts have consistently decided that a woman's right to an abortion can't be vetoed by a husband, partner or ex-boyfriend, and also that a woman doesn't have to notify the father that she intends to have an abortion, according to a BBC article.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's "love child" has brought greater attention to a critical flaw in many states' paternity laws; that a child "of the marriage" is the responsibility of the husband even if the child is not his.
In general, according to Cordell & Cordell mens divorce attorney Leslie Lorenzano, if the husband and wife are still technically married when a child is born, the husband is presumed by the court to be the father of her child.
So, in Schwarzenegger's paternity case, he isn't obligated to pay any child support, but the duped husband might be since he is presumed to be the father because the child was born into the marriage. Getting the biological parentage wrong can have serious and damaging medical consequences for children.