This can be an extremely tricky subject to handle. When a married couple gets a child, it is presumed that the husband is the child’s biological father and his name is included on the birth certificate. Consequently, he becomes the child’s legal father. And this is the status upon which issues child support and child custody are worked out.
But what happens if you later establish that they are not your biological child after all? Will the child support order still hold? And, can you be reimbursed the money you paid in child support?
The best interest of the child comes first
The court might direct you to continue paying child support even if you are not the child’s biological father. This is usually the case if your relationship with the child is deemed significant, meaning that the child is financially and emotionally dependent on you.
Can the child’s biological father be located?
The presence of the child’s biological parent may persuade the court to exonerate you from paying child support going forward. However, if you are the only father the child has ever known, then you may be required to continue paying child support, more so if you are their legal father.
That said, the court might direct you to take a paternity test to show that you are not the child’s biological father. Once this is determined, you may petition the court to modify the existing child support order or terminate it altogether. Generally, you cannot be reimbursed for what you have already paid in child support.
Child support can be a contentious issue following the breakdown of the marriage. Find out how you can safeguard your rights and interests while honoring your child support obligation.