Presumed and Alleged Paternity for Child Support

Child support is often the bone of contention between the parents who have filed a divorce or child support case. With legal terms and obligations beyond comprehension of the rank and file, many people fail to understand that establishing paternity is the prerequisite condition for the court to order child support.

Basics of Paternity

The court follows a legal process to figure out the biological father of the child. Until paternity is established, the child’s father is not entitled to visitation with the child, leave alone child’s custody or rights and responsibilities towards the child support. Paternity can be established in either of two ways – the parents can request the court or the court can order a paternity case.

Acknowledgement of Paternity

In case the parents are unmarried, the child has no legal father. A biological father can establish paternity by acknowledging paternity in writing (sometimes known as an affidavit of parentage) or both parents can come to a consensus on the matter of paternity. Once paternity is established, the father is obliged to pay child support.

Presumed Father

If the child is born to married couples, the courts in some states consider the husband as the biological father of the child. However, the concept of ‘Presumed Father’ is invalidated in some states if the couple got separated when the child was born or conceived.

The presumption is “refutable” in most states. It implies that the man can refute paternity by lodging a legal request with the court. Whether or not an unmarried man will face the “Presumption of Fatherhood” depends on the person’s relationship status after the child’s birth, if only any of the followings is satisfied:

  • The person wanted to marry the child’s mother (even if it was not legally valid marriage) and the child was born or conceived during the attempted marriage
  • The couple registered their marriage after the child’s birth and the man agreed to use his name on the child’s birth certificate or to bear the expenses for the child’s support
  • The man greeted the baby into his home and made an open claim of having sired the child

Refuting ‘Presumed Paternity’ is very crucial, especially for its time sensitivity. Therefore, it is important for a presumed father to consult an experienced Child Custody Attorney Wilmington NC if he sniffs anything wrong with presumption. It is mandatory to file a legal request in stipulated time; otherwise, the court will require the man to pay child support even if he is not the biological father of the child.

Alleged Father

An alleged father is an unmarried man but is presumed as the child’s biological father by the court. The other parent, in some cases, can name a person for alleged paternity in a paternity suit in order to establish custodial rights and child support.

Presumed Paternity makes it the father’s responsibility to refute the ‘paternity’ allegation whereas in ‘Alleged Paternity’, the court must allow the alleged father to undergo a DNA test or the likes before proceeding with any parenting or child support case.