Will Ihave to pay child support for a child that isnt mine?

My wife and Ihave been separated for almost 14 years with no divorce. We have 2 children together which are almost grown. We took turns taking care of the kids. She had another relationship which resulted in a child which I know isn’t mine; she was in a different state and still is. Now that state is trying to come after me for child support. I had a court date but unfornatunely I missed it so now there is a default. Will I have to pay back child support on the 2 kids even though we are still married?

Asked on September 14, 2011 under Family Law, Arizona


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You need to get legal help here as soon as you can.  There is a general presumption that children born during a marriage are children of the marriage and so that is why the child support agency is coming after you. But you have a right to request that there be a determination as to paternity of the child.  Your missing the court date is not fatal to the outcome but it will just take a lot more paper work on your end to vacate the default and then request the DNA testing be done.  It can be overwhelming but in the end you should not have to pay support for a child that is not yours.  Be aware, though, that a Court will not want a child to become a ward of the state in any way.  Get help.  Good luck.  

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