When a couple has a child together and then divorces, one of the most complicated situations that can arise is the payment of child support. While in many cases it can be a straightforward matter that is dealt with in an amicable manner between the two parties, other times there may be disputes about how much should be paid or possibly even questions about paternity. Sometimes a custodial spouse may ask the court to order additional support be paid, and in some instances the non-custodial parent may ask for a paternity test to verify their legal obligation to pay for the child’s support.

What Defines Paternity?

However, while in these cases they may ask that another paternity test be conducted before paying additional support, their request is not always granted. Unless new evidence emerges that indicates they are in fact not the biological father, they are usually presumed to be the father and may be obligated to make whatever payments a court may decide. Likewise, if they have already acknowledged paternity by their own admission, whether married or unmarried, another test will rarely be ordered.

Presumptive Paternity

In some states, men can be considered the father of a child if they so much as welcome a child into their home and openly treat the child as their own. Also, if a man agrees to have his name on the birth certificate then paternity is considered to be legally established. In most of these cases, paternity cannot be disproven even if there are blood tests that are contradictory. These are considered to be rational methods of protecting a father and child’s due process rights, and therefore are rarely called into question.

Child Support Payments

The majority of paternity suits are initiated by state and local social service agencies that provide benefits to a mother and child, and are required by law to seek support payments from the child’s father as a form of reimbursement. Whenever these paternity actions are started, a mother must cooperate with the welfare agency or risk losing any benefits she and her child may be receiving.

While blood tests can accurately prove paternity 99.99 percent of the time and disprove paternity with 100 percent accuracy, it is difficult if not impossible for a father to be granted another paternity test once he has already made support payments to the child and acknowledged the child as his own.

If you are having doubt that your child is yours or your ex is trying to gain more child support, then contact us online or by calling 480-345-2652.