Many men worry about paying child support for kids who are not theirs. Unfortunately, it does happen. That is why it is important to take a paternity test as soon as you have doubts about the child’s parentage. In fact, many family lawyers suggest taking the test at the time of the child’s birth to prevent you from raising a child who is not yours, as well as having that child become attached to someone who is not their parent. Below are the times when a man would be responsible for paying child support if he is not the father.
Too Much Time Has Passed
Sometimes men will pay child support for five or six years, even after beginning to doubt he is the father of the kid he is paying for. He may procrastinate out of anxiety, fear, or simply not wanting to face the truth. However, if you wait too long, you may lose your opportunity to contest paternity.
In Texas you only have a certain amount of time—usually two years—to contest paternity. Once that time has passed, then you are now at the mercy of the court to decide if you will pay child support, and how much.
Taken a Fatherly Role
If you have spent years raising the child, the court is less likely to relieve you of that burden, even with a negative paternity test. This is for several reasons. The first being that the child has likely formed an attachment to you and taking that away could cause them extreme distress. The second motivation is that the more time has passed, the harder it will be to find the biological father. The government tries hard to ensure that children have two parents supporting them.
What Can You Do?
If you find yourself paying child support for someone unrelated to you, the best thing you could do to change your situation is show up to court with the biological father. That requires you to find out who the father is and convince them to take an active role in the life of a child who they might potentially have never met before.
Reach Out to a Paternity Attorney Today
You never want to be in a position to doubt the paternity of your children. However, if you are, getting in touch with a paternity lawyer at Angela Faye Brown & Associates is the first step to no longer bearing the financial responsibility.