A Law Career

Can You Stop Child Support Payments After Learning You Are Not The Father? Find Out

by Ruby Mckinney

Generally, parents want their children to have a comfortable life even after dissolving their marriage. This is why they make timely child support payments as ordered by the court. Unfortunately, some may inadvertently pay child support without knowing that they aren't the child's biological father. This may not be fair, and you can request the court to shift the child support responsibility to the biological parent. Read on to find out how you can petition the court to change a previous judgment and how a family lawyer can help.

How Courts Determine Paternity

Judges use different strategies to determine paternity when making judgments on child support. For instance, they will likely assume that the husband is the birth father if the parents were married when the child was born. This is more so nobody else shows up to dispute or acknowledge paternity. However, if the parents were not living together when the child was born, the judge may require the father to appear in court to confirm that they are the biological parent. If they don't show up by the required date, the court may take it as the individual acknowledging that they are likely the biological father. The judge will order them to pay child support in such a case.

The court may also refer to documentation such as the acknowledgment of paternity or the child's birth certificate when deciding who should make child support payments. Even so, it is important to note that these court decisions are not final. As such, you can appeal the decision to pay child custody if you learn that you are not the biological father. A family law attorney can assist you in appealing the judgment and stopping the payments.

The Process of Appealing the Judgment

Different states have different child welfare laws. For instance, some states require fathers to appeal a court decision within a specified period after judgment. If you reside in such a state, you must bring the case before the set deadline to get consideration. It is also important to note that some states only allow fathers to appeal the court's decision if their partner committed fraud. This includes situations where the mother knew that the individual ordered to pay child support was not the child's biological father but did not inform the court. In any case, your lawyer will evaluate your state laws to determine whether an appeal is possible. They will then assist you in presenting the petition within the deadline to transfer the payment requirement to the child's biological parent.

It might be unfair to pay for child support if your partner lied about paternity. If this is the case, you can appeal the court decision and request a ruling to stop the payments. To this end, a family law attorney can help you through the process to help you get a favorable outcome.