If there is any question of paternity, this must be addressed before child support can be granted. While one might think that the question of fatherhood is a simple one, this is not necessarily the case. Varied circumstances call for different approaches to paternity, and it is important to work with a College Station family attorney as you pursue the obtainment of child support.
Presumed vs. Agreed Upon Paternity
In many cases, a father acknowledges paternity. When it comes to having to pay child support, however, some individuals may be inclined to call paternity into question. When this is the case, a paternity action becomes necessary, which is a court action brought for this specific purpose. It should be noted that either the mother or father can file a paternity suit. In many cases, however, such actions are brought as a result of the need to establish paternity for the purposes of obtaining government assistance.
The following are types of parentage circumstances:
• Acknowledged Paternity: This is when the biological unwed father or his parents acknowledge his paternity. Child support is required to be paid in such a case.
• Alleged Paternity: Any time an unmarried couple has a child, the man in the relationship is considered the alleged father. If he does not acknowledge paternity, a court must make this determination, after which he will be legally required to pay child support.
• Presumed Paternity: Paternity is presumed if the man was married to the mother at conception or birth; if the man married or attempted to marry the mother at a time relative to the birth or conception; the man married the mother and agreed to the inclusion of his name on the birth certificate; or the man regarded the child as his own in his own home.
• Equitable Parentage: This often applies to same-sex couples when they decide to parent together. When a man is married but is not the biological or adoptive father, he may be considered the father if there is a close relationship with the child and the biological parent encourages this relationship. If visitation or custody is granted the equitable parent must pay child support.
• Stepfather: A stepfather does not legally have to pay child support unless he has legally adopted a child.
For Questions or Assistance with Establishing Paternity