Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
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I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

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Child support owed for twins conceived after separation, court says

In a Massachusetts divorce, child custody and support can be among the most contentious issues. Parents often argue over who will be the primary caregiver of a child and who will be responsible for the payment of child support. One recent case confronting these issues concerned children who were conceived through in vitro fertilization after the spouses were separated.

Reports say that an appeals court recently affirmed a verdict holding that a father is responsible for the twin children born to him and his wife after they were separated. In this unique case, the children were conceived using the father's sperm and a donated egg. The couple was on an egg donation waiting list before the divorce, but later the father agreed to allow the eggs to be fertilized and twins were born.

Though the father asserted he had been promised by his ex-wife that he would have no financial responsibility for the children, the court hearing the matter did not agree. It reasoned that the man is responsible to pay support for the children because his actions resulted in their birth.

Child support payments in Massachusetts are often part of separation agreements and divorce judgments when there are children involved. One of the parents is often responsible for payment to the primary caregiver of the child. The determination of child support responsibility can be a confusing and frustrating process for many people. Nevertheless, these important issues deserve full consideration, particularly in light of the fact that they may involve ongoing and typically monthly payments for years to come.

Source: Opposing Views, "Man Must Pay Child Support for Kids Conceived After Divorce," Mark Berman, March 7, 2012

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