Berman & Asbel, LLP

Parents could be forced to pay child support for unrelated kids

Paying child support often becomes the responsibility of noncustodial parents. Many noncustodial parents in Pennsylvania accept this duty because they love their children and want to help provide for them. However, there have been cases in which a person has been required to pay child support to a former spouse for children the payer has no biological relation to. Such a situation can be very confusing and many parents may wonder how the requirement is legal.

A man found himself in such a situation when, on Father's Day weekend, he received a notice that he owed his ex-wife approximately $8,500 in back child support. The man was baffled by the notice as he had been paying child support for the two sons he fathered with his ex-wife. The notice, however, was concerning the mother's third child, which the man was not biologically related to.

The man found out that his wife had another child when his two sons informed him of the new baby not long after the divorce had been finalized. The wife had apparently conceived a child with another man during the separation, but the father of the other two children was being expected to pay support the third child. After finding out about the situation, the man had a news team conduct an investigation, which found that the situation was legal and that courts can deem a non-biological parent responsible for paying child support if it is in the best interest of the child.

Luckily for the man, after the investigation, he was cleared of the responsibility of making the child support payments for the third child. As unbelievable as this situation may seem, it only furthers the point that being informed of state laws regarding child support can be beneficial for separated parents. Being surprised by such a situation can leave anyone feeling shell-shocked and uncertain as to how to move forward, and parents may find looking into Pennsylvania child support laws helpful under such circumstances.

Source: Huffington Post, "Child Support Law Requires Man To Pay For Another Man's Child," July 29, 2013

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