Am I liable for a child who I technically don’t have custody of?

I’ve been married for almost 4 years and my wife and I are getting a divorce. She’s

agreed to a uncontested divorce but I have a concerning question. Almost 2 years ago, my wife and her mom received custody of a now 11 years boy. I did not sign the custody papers nor is my name on the birth certificate. Am I going to be responsible for him?

Asked on October 23, 2018 under Family Law, Mississippi


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Since you are not the biological or adopted father, then you bear no financial responsibity for this child.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, if he is not your biological child and you have not adopted, you will have no liability or or in regard to him. (e.g. for child support; or liability to 3rd parties, if he injures someone accidentally or on purpose). Other people, even your own spouse, cannot make you responsible for a child who is not your own or whom you do not adopt.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.