Parents have a legal and moral obligation to ensure that their children receive the financial and emotional care they require. Most parents in Pennsylvania are more than willing to meet these obligations to the children. However, one out-of-state man claims he was recently notified that he will be required to pay child support with whom he shares no biological connection.
The man says that he received a letter from the state informing him that he would be expected to financially support his estranged wife’s 1-year-old child. Although the couple are still legally married, the man says they split after two years of marriage and have only communicated infrequently through social media and phone calls over the course of the last several years. As a result of the letter, he contacted state officials to notify him of the error and offer to take a paternity test.
Unfortunately, he was notified that under Iowa law — where he lives — he is required to support the child because he is still married to the child’s mother. A Department of Human Services spokesperson confirmed that state law dictates that a man is legally considered the father of newborn if he is married to the child’s mother. The man claims that he made the decision to make his story public in the hopes that it would bring attention to the issue, possibly prompting lawmakers to make changes to the law.
In many cases, there are parents who desperately want to support their children but struggle to do so because of issues beyond their control. However, few people in Pennsylvania expect that they will be forced to pay child support for a child who is not biologically theirs and whose mother they have not had any sort of relationship in almost two decades. While state laws vary, the complexity of the court system remains, prompting many who feel they are being unfairly required to support a child to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney.
Source: desmoinesregister.com, “Man contests support for child he says he didn’t father“, Charly Haley, March 25, 2016