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Melissa A. Featherston

Child support may be ordered after paternity test

Missouri parents may be accustomed to the thought of paying child support. For those who have a standard child support agreement, there may not be a need to discuss the topic. However, a recent article has raised questions about the role of a father who just found out he had a child.

The man lived with his girlfriend for a long period of time. Their breakup occurred during the time the girlfriend found out she was pregnant. The girlfriend wanted the baby, but the father did not and instead requested that the girlfriend terminate the pregnancy. The child is now 3 years of age and the mother is asking for child support.

The father may wish to first establish paternity to protect his rights. If he is in fact the father, he could be ordered to pay child support and possibly pay back child support. Most states have a standard guideline for this amount and will base it on both the mother and father's income. In this situation, not only is the mother asking for child support, but she is also asking for the father to help pay for her medical bills from the birth of the child. He could in fact be ordered in court to pay for these costs.

Although this may not be the most common situation, there are several cases where establishing paternity is necessary before child support is paid. Missouri mothers who are trying to receive child support may have to wait until paternity is established before payments are ordered. Fathers who have questions regarding the paternity of a child could certainly benefit from not only establishing their paternity, but also understanding what they will be ordered to pay based on the applicable laws.

Source: Boston Herald, Man surprised by request for child support, Gerald Nissenbaum, Feb. 2, 2014

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