Generally speaking, some jurisdictions have long held child support matters to a standard loosely known as ‘paternity by estoppel’ which basically means that if a man has been acting as a child’s father and he and the child’s mother ultimately obtain a divorce, that man can still be held liable for child support payments even if he was not the biological father. However, a recent decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has potentially altered that general approach.
Specifically, the case at issue involved a husband and wife who had a child in 2006 that the father believed was conceived with a man with whom his wife had an extramarital affair. The couple got a divorce and the mother of the child pursued child support from the child’s biological father. The trial court held that the biological father would not be responsible for that child support based on this paternity by estoppel standard.
However, the case was appealed and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled that the case should be remanded to the lower court to determine what would be in the best interests of the child. The court stated that the husband would not necessarily be responsible for child support even though it could be argued that he held himself out as the father. Instead, the court felt that justice could best be served with regards to the interests of the child if the biological father paid child support.
San Diego Child Support Lawyers
Unfortunately, situations like this one arise more often than most people would think. Therefore, husbands who are placed in this difficult position should take steps to protect their legal rights and interests. This should be done by being proactive in defending himself against the potential liability that is faced with child support orders.
If you are facing any type of problem that relates to this issue, you need to seek the help of San Diego child support lawyers who have been fighting for the rights of fathers and husbands for many years. Contact the Men’s Legal Center today to schedule an initial consultation.