Is it possible to pay child support for a child that isn’t mine?

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Family Law on Wednesday, March 2, 2016.

Raising a child is an incredible responsibility. From the minute they are born, children rely on parents to take care of them, protect them and provide for them, and mothers and fathers often take this responsibility very seriously.

However, there may be some situations in which a person needs to question this obligation. In some cases, a person is tasked with the overwhelming emotional, physical and financial demands of being a parent without actually having any protections themselves. This can and should prompt a parent to seek some legal guidance.

For example, if you are a father, you could find yourself raising and supporting a child that is not yours biologically. This may not be a concern if you have adopted the child and/or are aware that there is no biological relationship between you, but if you are unknowingly raising a child who is not yours, you could be in an upsetting situation.

Men across the U.S. can end up raising a child that isn’t theirs in situations where a woman was unfaithful during a marriage or when he signs a form acknowledging paternity without first seeking a paternity test.

In accordance with Florida paternity laws, if a married woman has a baby, her husband is automatically presumed to be the father. He does not have to take a paternity test to confirm biological relationship. Unmarried couples can sign a Paternity Acknowledgment form that establishes legal parentage without a test as well.

In either case, a man can learn later on that he may not actually be the biological father of a child. Besides the emotional distress this can undoubtedly cause, there are financial implications as well. By this point, he may have already contributed a considerable amount of money to the child’s well-being that he typically will not get back.

Considering all the pain and frustration these situations can cause, it can be crucial that fathers and presumed fathers take steps to protect themselves. If you have questions about paternity or are being asked to sign legal documents accepting responsibility of a child, it can be crucial that you first consider your options and assess your legal rights. Speaking with an attorney familiar with paternity and family laws can be essential.