Determining Paternity for Child Support
If there is any question of paternity, this must be addressed before child support can be granted. While one might think that the question of fatherhood is a simple one, this is not necessarily the case. Varied circumstances call for different approaches to paternity, and it is important to work with a College Station family attorney as you pursue the obtainment of child support.
Presumed vs. Agreed Upon Paternity
In many cases, a father acknowledges paternity. When it comes to having to pay child support, however, some individuals may be inclined to call paternity into question. When this is the case, a paternity action becomes necessary, which is a court action brought for this specific purpose. It should be noted that either the mother or father can file a paternity suit. In many cases, however, such actions are brought as a result of the need to establish paternity for the purposes of obtaining government assistance.
The following are types of parentage circumstances:
• Acknowledged Paternity: This is when the biological unwed father or his parents acknowledge his paternity. Child support is required to be paid in such a case. • Alleged Paternity: Any time an unmarried couple has a child, the man in the relationship is considered the alleged father. If he does not acknowledge paternity, a court must make this determination, after which he will be legally required to pay child support. • Presumed Paternity: Paternity is presumed if the man was married to the mother at conception or birth; if the man married or attempted to marry the mother at a time relative to the birth or conception; the man married the mother and agreed to the inclusion of his name on the birth certificate; or the man regarded the child as his own in his own home. • Equitable Parentage: This often applies to same-sex couples when they decide to parent together. When a man is married but is not the biological or adoptive father, he may be considered the father if there is a close relationship with the child and the biological parent encourages this relationship. If visitation or custody is granted the equitable parent must pay child support. • Stepfather: A stepfather does not legally have to pay child support unless he has legally adopted a child.