In most child support cases in which the father is the non-custodial parent, he is the biological parent of the child. However, there are some cases in which the father is not the biological parent, but the court has determined that he is responsible. If a non-biological father has been paying child support and is threatening not to now, here is what you need to know.
Does He Have to Continue Paying?
Whether or not the non-biological father has to continue the child support payments depends on the circumstances of the case. If the non-custodial parent is considered the father and was ordered to make payments by the court, chances are, he will have to continue to make payments.
When the court orders a non-biological man to make child support payments, there are several reasons why this can occur. One possibility is that the mother was married to the man at the time that the child was born. The court could also order support if the man claimed the child as his own despite knowing he was not the biological father.
The court could also order a man to pay child support if he failed to show up for hearings regarding the issue. Even though the man was not given a biological test, his failure to make an appearance in court basically resulted in him forfeiting his right to argue he should not have to pay support.
Can You Argue Against Discontinuing the Payments?
Even if the court originally determined that the non-biological non-custodial parent is responsible for paying for child support, there is a possibility that the court could reverse that decision. Whether or not that is possible in your case depends largely on the laws in your state. Anything can happen in court, so it is up to you to be prepared to argue why the payments should continue.
One possible argument that could work in your favor is the theory of equitable estoppel. In essence, you could argue that the non-biological father was making payments beforehand and therefore, he should be ordered to continue those payments. If he were making the payments voluntarily without an order, you have a better chance of successfully arguing this.
You could also argue that the non-biological father is the only father that your child recognizes and that he established a relationship with your child. As such, he should be responsible for helping to care for the child. If he is still involved in the child's life, you can point this out to the judge.
Consult with an experienced attorney, like Cotto Law Firm P.C., to learn decide whether fighting for the continued child support payments is possible.
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