How do I handle a divorce when I have children? 23 Answers as of June 08, 2011

I am filing for divorce and our two children were born before we were married 1-in 1997 and the other in 1998 we got married in 1999. Do my children have to be in papers since they were born out of marriage? Also on our daughter’s birth certificate he is not listed as father, it's blank. He is listed as father on our sons. Just need to know the laws on how to handle this situation.

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Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C.
Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C. | Karen A. Clark
The fact that you did not marry until after your children were born should not affect the dissolution of the marriage and child custody. There might be an issue if your husband questions paternity of your daughter. I would suggest discussing the matter with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/8/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
If you do it by agreement and since the children were not born "of the marriage," you can simply file and omit them, however, you are missing the opportunity to have support ordered as a part of the divorce. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/7/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Is he the father? If so, the fact the children were born outside the marriage is not relevant, they need to be addressed in the papers.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/7/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Include all of those children on your Petition and your Declaration under UCCJEA as children of the marriage.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/7/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
If he is the father of both, you would list them in the divorce. It doesn't matter if he is on the birth certificate. He could question paternity if he feels he isn't the father.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of John C. Volz
    Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
    You would file the regular divorce and ask the court to establish paternity for any child born prior to the marriage.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    You'll need to consult personally with a matrimonial lawyer for detailed information on this question. Normally, if the father is named on the birth certificate, that's sufficient to establish paternity. If that didn't happen,the father can simply accept the child as his and that ends it. If he suddenly refuses to acknowledge the children as his, then a paternity petition must be filed in Family Court and they will do a DNA test on all parties and prove he's the father and that will settle the issue. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    If they are your husband's children, they all need to be identified and dealt with in the divorce. His name only got on the birth certificates with his consent and implied admission of paternity, so the law presumes he is the legal father until he can prove otherwise. Apparently, the child who has no listed father was not born during the marriage, so it will be necessary for the divorce court to make a judicial ruling that he is the father and he may be allowed to require paternity testing. You need to consult an attorney to get a better understanding of how the law applies to your fact situation.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Berner Law Group, PLLC
    Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
    If this is a Washington case, the kids can be included within the divorce proceedings provided you go about it the right way. If you reside in Western Washington, feel free to contact my office for a free, no obligation consultation-by phone or in person-about this situation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Gresham Family & Bankruptcy Law
    Gresham Family & Bankruptcy Law | Lillian Suelzle Watson
    You will need to list all of your children whether they were born during your marriage or not. If you husband does not believe they are his children he can challenge the fact in the divorce. If you have questions, go to your local court house and pick up a "self help" packet. If you need a lawyer in East Portland, Multnomah or Clackamas County, we can help.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    You likely will want to include the children in the divorce petition while also stating they were born prior to the marriage. If you expect to receive child support, you will want to acknowledge their existence as well as that your husband is the father of all the children.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    If he is the father then the children should be included as children of his.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I would recommend, in an Augusta, Ga divorce, that the existence of the children be openly disclosed in the complaint and ask the court to address the issues of custody, visitation, and child support. Then, it would be up to the other party to contest being the parent. Consult with your own divorce attorney about all the facts and all your rights and options. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Yes, the children must be included in the divorce papers. That is certainly true if your spouse is the parent of the children. He may assert his rights as a parent as part of any divorce action including seeking genetic testing if paternity is contested.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    If you are in Georgia, the children are considered legitimate since you married the father after their birth and they would need to be addressed in the divorce case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    What you need can be accomplished; that is to get a divorce and have child support ordered on both children. It is too complex to explain, but you need to hire a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Naomi Hirayasu Attorney at Law
    Naomi Hirayasu Attorney at Law | Naomi Hirayasu
    It depends in part on how you choose to approach the matter. Issues to resolve include child custody and child support. If you represent to the court that he is the father, and if he is not able to rebut that representation, then the court can decide both custody and support. If he is not on a child's birth certificate, and the child was born before the marriage, and you choose not to consider him the father, then the divorce court will decide neither child custody nor child support in the divorce, unless father enters an appearance and claims that the child is his. If the parties disagree on paternity, it is possible for the court to order a genetic test to determine paternity, and the results of the test would determine whether the court would choose to address child custody and child support in the divorce action. My contact information is below. Do please feel free to contact me with any further questions or concerns.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    Paternity will need to be established at some point and they will need to be listed in the divorce paperwork.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    In Washington you should still identify the children in the legal documents. If your husband is the father of the children, then you will also need to work out both a parenting plan and a child support order.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    I'm sorry, but your issue is way too complicated to be addressed without a lot of additional information and a knowledge of your local state law. Please contact a local domestic relations attorney for assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    The Grigsby Firm
    The Grigsby Firm | Sherlock Grigsby
    This depends on whether your spouse is contesting paternity, custody and or child support. Unfortunately its never as simple as yes or no. If paternity is contested this will have to be adjudicated prior to any award of custody and or support.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    First of all your post makes it sound like you are about to make the worst mistake of your life - filing without a lawyer. ANY divorce with children is complex and yours is more so given the birth certificate. All your children must be listed and your divorce will have to address support, custody, visitation, a parenting plan, health insurance, and other issues.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/3/2011
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