Hearing a woman tell you that she is pregnant and you're the father of the child is likely to come as a shock. Some men immediately slip into denial while others may be ready to take full responsibility. And of course, there is a lot of thinking that falls in between. If you ever find yourself in this situation, there are a few things you need to be aware of.
Do not assume you are the father
Even if you believe, without question, that you are the father, there is no way you can be certain of this. The only person who can be certain of this is the mother, and this is only true if you were the only man she had sex with. Often, a woman can have two partners, and even if she only slept with one of the men a single time, this is obviously enough. But a mother may be engaged in wishful thinking, wanting you to be the father because of feelings she might have for you, or more cynically, you have a good income. Whatever the case may be, only a DNA test will confirm whether you are the father.
Do not sign any paperwork
If you are at the hospital at the time of the baby's birth or shortly thereafter, you may be asked to sign some paperwork. You shouldn't sign the birth certificate. However, this doesn't carry the legal weight many people believe it does. A family court judge can always amend a birth certificate. But it is a declaration of paternity that you need to be most aware of. This is a document where you claim to be the father of the child. Although it is common for this document to be signed at a hospital, it can still be presented to you long after the mother and child have left the hospital.
Let the courts determine child support
If a DNA test shows you are the father, the amount of child support you will owe is determined by law and is based upon a formula. Although this calculation will vary from one state to the next, it is something that is not subjective. No one needs to argue a case before a judge. The biggest factor is your current income, but if your income changes in the future, you have the right to petition the courts to adjust your child support.
If you are told that you are the father of a child, do not run away from your obligations, but neither should you assume that you are the father. Never sign any documents, and always consult a family law attorney, so everything is done according to the law. If paternity is established, the amount of child support can be determined by law.Share
12 September 2018
When I began the divorce process, I knew that I wanted to change my name back to my maiden name. I no longer wanted to be associated with the family name of the man that I was divorcing. The problem was, I have three kids that all had their father's name. I wanted to know if I would be able to change their last names to my maiden name rather than having them carry that family's name for the rest of their lives. I found out a lot about what it would take and began working to create this blog to help other women wanting to do the same thing.