If my wife got pregnant by another man while we are married, is she entitled to child support from me?

DNA test has me as not being the father.

Asked on May 7, 2012 under Family Law, Maryland

Answers:

L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding paternity and child support for a child born into your marriage for which a DNA test has determined that you are not the biological father. You want to know if you will have to pay child support for this child since you are married when this child was born, even though this is not your biological child. This answer will vary depending on the laws of your state. But there are some general laws and majority opinions that may apply.

Generally speaking, any child born into a marriage is presumed to be the child of the husband of that married couple. That being said, the husband is held financially responsible as the father of that child. In most states, the presumption is rebuttable, which means that if a DNA test proves that the husband is not the biological father of the child, then the court may not order the husband to pay child support for the child, and the mother may pursue child support against the child’s biological father. Some states have an irrebuttable presumption of paternity, meaning that all children born into a marriage are children of that married couple and it does not matter what a DNA states.

If you live in a state where the DNA test can alleviate your obligation to pay child support, when your wife or ex-wife petitions you for support, you can respond to the court that you would like to petition the court for a court-ordered paternity test, where the court will designate a court-approved lab, and the court will have a lab complete a DNA test. If the test shows you are not the biological father, then the court will not order support. But since this relies heavily on the particular laws of your state, you may feel more comfortable discussing this matter with a family law attorney in your area.

Related articleObtaining Child Support


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