Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
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Family Law Attorney

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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Man allegedly owed back child support for child that was not his

As many Massachusetts residents know, children are often the joy of a parent's life. Even if divorce occurs, many noncustodial parents want their visitation rights upheld and want to take the responsibility of making child support payments for their children. Child support can be a difficult part of a divorce process to sort through, but many parents are able to come to agreeable terms. However, the situation can be even more complicated when a non-biological parent is required to pay support for a child.

Though it may seem confusing as to how a person with no relation to a child would have to make support payments, the situation is not unheard of. A man who had two children with his ex-wife states that he received a notice that he owed his former spouse back child support for her third child, which the man did not father. While the couple was separated, the wife became pregnant by another man, and shortly after their divorce was finalized, the man's two children informed him that their mother had another child.

The official letter that the man received stated that he owed approximately $8,500 in back child support. The man did not believe the situation to be possible and had a news team investigate, but they found that the situation was, unbelievably, legal. According to a law in the man's state of residence, courts may find non-biological parents better suited for paying child support than the biological parent. Since the investigation, the responsibility for the man to pay support for that child has been dropped.

As seemingly outrageous as this situation seems, it obviously shows that knowledge of child support laws in a parent's state is necessary to understand what their payments could entail. Though this law that required the man to pay support for a child that was not his may not apply in all states, similar or other seemingly unfathomable ones could. Massachusetts residents who are finding themselves in tough situations regarding child custody and support could find information on their state's laws helpful to their cases.

Source: Huffington Post, "Child Support Law Requires Man To Pay For Another Man's Child," July 29, 2013

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