Is a father legally obligated to pay for child support? 26 Answers as of August 05, 2011

Does a father have to pay child support if a baby has not been legitimized? The father was working at one time, and gave the mother money, however, now he is unemployed, and trying to go to a technical school.

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
I do not understand what you mean by legitimized, but the obligor has a duty to pay support to the obligee. The obligee is the primary parent.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/5/2011
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law | Neville J. Bedford
A father - whom has acknowledged paternity - or was proven the child's parent by DNA - is responsible to provide for support. Support is calculated on income. A change in income is a ripe time to petition the court for modification.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 7/30/2011
Law Office of James Lentz
Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
A person must pay child support when and only when a court orders it. In most cases when it isn't voluntarily paid, the custodial parent goes to court and the court assigns a much higher payment. See a domestic relations attorney to work things out in your favor.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 7/29/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Under California law, all children are legitimate. I think that you mean that there has not been a Paternity case filed. The law requires parents to support their children. If you are sure that the child is yours but there is no Child Support order,you should do your best to support your child. If you are not sure whether the child is yours, submit to a Paternity DNA test to determine that question. Child Support is based on the father's income, the mother's income, and the father's percentage of timeshare. If you are unemployed, your unemployment benefits(if any) are considered to be your income. If you have no income, you will likely have no Child Support obligation. However, if you had a Child Support obligation as a result of a Child Support Agency case (or a Paternity case), you would need to file an Order to Show Cause (OSC) to modify Child Support, because the modification would not be retroactive to a date prior to the filing of that OSC.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/28/2011
Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
The Father is not legally obligated until there is court action. That being said, once there is court action, retroactive child support can be applied. I suggest you consult with a local Family Law attorney to discuss the case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/28/2011
    Osterman Law LLC
    Osterman Law LLC | Mark D. Osterman
    My biggest concern comes from the word "legitimized" because it offers all kinds of problems. In the 19th to early 20th century, the court struggled with the "degrading" of children. In fact, the concept of "illegitimate" was a terrible stigma all the way into the late 70s in the last century. While we are supposed to be more enlightened, I will agree that the issue of whether a child is legitimate or illegitimate is a matter of importance to the court. The function of the court is to prevent the "degrading" of children by declaring that they are never illegitimate. So this raises the question about whether our hypothetical father is the father of this child or not. If he is in fact this child's father then we have to ask and answer this question: Should this child go hungry or not be provided for while the father attend school? The answer is absolutely no!! Our society demands the children be provided for and we have the child support guidelines for this assistance. As a general rule of thumb, and I want to emphasize the word general, child support is normally calculated at around 20% of the net take-home income for any one child. If dad makes $100 a week take-home, then he should pay $20 a week. We believe that father should support their children so simply because he is not employed does not relieve him an obligation to see to the care of his child and this is the position of the law. But if you think about it, it is the position of all of society that the burden for raising children should not be on the taxpayer but on the parents. I hope that I have answered your question. Good luck to your friend.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    Since you mention the term "legitimized," I assume that you and the mother were not married to each other and that paternity has not yet been established. Once paternity is established, then, you, as father of the child, are going to have to pay some sort of child support. The rule in Washington is that both parents of a child owe that child a duty of support. The exact calculation of the amount of that child support is impossible to determine from the facts you provide in your question.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    There is no legal obligation until paternity is established. The mother can file the action through the child support office in her county. There are some instances when back support can be ordered, but it is no longer standard.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    The Father is only legally obligated if there is a Court Order directing him to pay. However, if he does not pay and the Mother takes him to Court she can received two years of back child support.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    No, the father does not need to pay child support if paternity has not been established and there are no formal orders for child support. If you need to seek child support, you would first be required to have paternity established on behalf of your child. After paternity has been established you may begin to receive child support. You may either contact a family law attorney to assist you in this process or you may file an action with Child Support Services and they will aid you in both establishing paternity and obtaining child support orders.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    The Father is as obligated as the Mother to support the child.File a parentage action to establish child support. If you are on state aid, the state may do it for you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Absolutely yes, but until he has been "legally determined" to be the father, it may not be clear that he is the father or what his exact support obligation is. Since this is apparently a paternity case (i.e. parties never married), eventually a court could order child support retroactive to the date of birth. There might be some credit allowed for past payments, if they can be proven, but it is So, it is to the father's best interest to get things settled now rather than waiting until there is a potential arrearage of tens of thousands of dollars. It isn't clear what you mean by "legitimized", but if you mean that there is some doubt as to paternity or that the father is not listed on the birth certificate, that will be dealt with in a paternity case. The legal case can also deal with establishing a parenting plan that defines each parent's role in raising the child. The fact that father is unemployed will, at best, justify a temporary hold on paying child support and probably result in a temporarily lower amount of child support. But, the legal system expects him to gain employment within a reasonable time in order to pay child support.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Regardless of legitimization, a father must pay child support for at least 18 years. The penalty for failure to do so, even if there is no court order, includes jail, suspension of drivers license and lost of professional licenses.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    The obligation to pay support continues regardless.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    I do not know what you mean by "legitimized". If you mean that you were not put on the birth certificate as the father, then in order for you to be legally responsible someone has to go to court to establish paternity. Once that happens then the father will be the "legal father" and that means he has custody and visitation rights and also an obligation to support the child.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    Yes, for example, child support enforcement could bring suit no matter whether or not you have sought to legitimate. We recommend you retain a lawyer concerning your rights and options as to a legitimation. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    No. There is no legal obligation to pay child support absent a valid court order.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Law Office of Jennifer L. Marshall, LLC.
    Law Office of Jennifer L. Marshall, LLC. | Jennifer L. Marshall, Esq.
    If you are not court ordered to pay child support, there is an argument that you do not have to pay. If the paternity of the child is in question a dna test should be done.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Yes, the father is obligated to pay child support regardless of whether the child has been legitimated.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    Both parents are legally responsible for the financial support of their offspring. Your obligation to actually pay child support comes from a court order establishing the amount of the support. If the mother has not filed for support and acquired a court order for this amount, then there is no mandated support.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Paternity and support orders should be obtained in court.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Michael Edwards, Attorney at Law
    Michael Edwards, Attorney at Law | Michael Edwards
    Simply put: if you have a child, you will be required to pay child support. This can either be done through the courts, or the Utah Office of Recovery Services ("ORS") can pursue you administratively, without going to court, if they choose to. Bottom line: if the child's mother decides to come after you, the real question is: how much will you pay, not whether or not you will pay. You need to consult with an attorney, to decide how to best handle this situation. I wish you the best!
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    I am assuming you mean that the father has never signed an acknowledgment of paternity or been determined by the court to be the legal father of the child. The father does have an obligation to pay child support, but setting child support will need to involve having him legally determined to be the father. You should talk to an attorney or the child support division of the county prosecutor's office near you for more information.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Elmbrook Law Offices
    Elmbrook Law Offices | Gregory Straub
    The father will be obligation to pay for support of his child. If you do not believe the child is yours, you are free to seek paternity to determine if in fact the child is yours. If confirmed, you will be subject to the statutory support obligation. Your unemployment or schooling does not relieve you of your support obligtations.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/26/2011
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