Before a child support decision can be rendered, establishing paternity is mandatory before collecting child support. If a father refuses to sign the paternity statement, that does not mean he can be exempted from paying support. When that happens, the state goes to court to establish his paternity and collect child support.
However, as our society has evolved, there are many different “fathers” in today’s generation. There is a presumed father and might be an alleged father, and a stepfather.
An acknowledged father must pay child support. He is a biological father of the child born to unmarried parents. If paternity has been determined by either the admission of the father or the agreement of the parents, he must pay child support.
In other cases where there is proof of proving otherwise, then a man may be the presumed father when he
- was married to the mother when the child was conceived or born
- attempted to marry the mother (even if the marriage was not valid) and the child was conceived or born during the attempted marriage;
- married the mother after the birth and agreed either to have his name on the birth certificate or to support the child;
- welcomed the child into his home and openly held the child out as his own.
If you are identified as a presumed father, you must pay child support.
If you are identified as an equitable parent, you are living with the child and one of his or her legal or natural parents, who form a close relationship with the child and assumes the duties and responsibilities of a parent. When the court grants you parent custody or visitation, then the parent will need to pay child support.
An alleged father or an unwed father is an unmarried man who impregnates a woman. He must pay child support if a court determines or he admits that he is the father. Furthermore, he has the right to visitation and even custody.
In the case of a stepfather, he is not mandated to pay child support unless he legally adopts the children. A stepfather is the spouse of the legal mother and did not conceive the child.
Contact Child Support and Paternity Attorney Andrew H.P. Norton of West Bridgewater
If you are looking for a professional and experienced attorney to represent you in your child support and paternity case, contact Attorney Andrew H.P. Norton today. Attorney Norton has more than 25 years of experience in representing clients in West Bridgewater, Easton, Plymouth, Middleborough, and other areas in the South Shore. He provides his clients with only honest and straightforward evaluations of their case. Contact us today at (508) 427-5700 or fill out a contact form.