When parents of a child are not in a relationship, one often makes child support payments to the other. One out-of-state man was recently ordered to make support payments for a son that was legally — but not biologically — his, but he argues that there are several reasons why this should not happen. Families in Illinois may be able to learn from this case that raises questions about the impact of paternity in child support rulings.

Many years ago — when the child at the center of this dispute was born — the man in this case signed a legal document asserting his paternity of the child. He and the child’s mother were never married at any point in time, but he began paying child support. Several years later and quite some time after the man suspected he may not be the boy’s biological father, the boy was taken from his mother’s care and given to another man that she claimed was the biological father. It was around this time that the first man’s payments were significantly increased and subsequently ordered to be paid from him to the biological father.

Since then, the man has attempted to have the payments reduced or eliminated and requested DNA testing, which proved he was not the biological father. Due to the notarized document, however, he is still considered a legal parent of the boy. For this reason, the state Supreme Court ruled that he was obligated to continue making the child support payments.

There are many reasons why a parent who is not biologically-related to a child may be required to make child support payments, but this case is somewhat unusual. Still, it displays the importance of parents fully understanding all relevant paternity and support laws. Anyone here in Illinois who finds themselves in a similar situation may be best served by obtaining available assistance in order to make the best choice for everyone involved.

Source: omaha.com, “Court rules man owed child support, after tests proved he wasn’t father”, Martha Stoddard, May 17, 2014