Admissions Of Paternity: What To Know

Many people are thrilled to know that they will become a father. Good fathers take responsibility for their offspring and are happy to do the right thing. Unfortunately, doing the right thing could result in a lifetime financial commitment that may be based on false information. Read on and find out more.

What Paternity Means

Whether you are married to the mother or not, fathers are often required to pay child support to the mother. Even if the mother can afford to raise the child on her own, going down on the record as the father of a child can mean being assigned huge responsibilities. Any time that mother asks for help, the father of record can be tasked with paying child support. Should the mother apply for government aid, the father of the child must be named and contacted about child support.

What Child Support Means

Child support is based on the income of both parents, and each state calculates what is owed differently. In many cases, a chart, based on the state's median income, is used to determine who should pay and how much they owe. Many fathers automatically assume that they have no choice in the matter and agree to pay. Others are wary of upsetting the mother by questioning paternity and they pay. As for the state, they only want someone to pay the child support obligation and they won't challenge any father that steps forward and agrees to take on the obligation. However, some fathers are not fathers at all.

Verifying Paternity

If you agree to paternity and later find out that you are not the father of the child, you might assume that your obligation to make child support payments is over. However, that may not necessarily be true. The court system is geared toward the child's best interest and anyone that has been paying the child support up to now could be ordered to continue in some cases. For example, if the biological father is no longer living, is incarcerated, or is on drugs, then you might be the only one that can fill in the gap. The courts are also aware that you might have formed a father-child relationship with the child. You, the mother, and the child should think carefully about severing that relationship based on DNA findings.

If you have been named as the father of a child and you have reason to doubt paternity, speak to a family law attorney at once. It is not uncommon to ask for a DNA test to be performed to confirm the paternity of the child, and doing so is the smart thing to do.

For more information, contact a family law attorney in your area.

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