If my wife is pregnant with another man’s baby during our divorce, am I responsible for the child?


My wife and I have two kids and we are getting a divorce partly because of her affairs. I’ve found out that she is three months pregnant with another man’s child. Will I be held liable for this baby who isn’t mine?

I don’t feel that I should even have to pay for her medical bills during this period even though I have always supported her. Will I have to pay child support for her child in addition to what I would end up paying for our two kids?


As for your belief that one child is not your child, you must raise the issue now. Divorcing parents must challenge their alleged children’s legitimacy during the divorce before the final divorce decision. If they do not, the divorce court will conclude that all of the children born to the marriage are marital children, i.e. your biological children, and the laws in Michigan make that conclusion binding in all subsequent litigation. In other words, if you do not raise the issue now, you cannot come back after your divorce and argue you are not the biological father and, therefore, should not have to pay child support.

As for the divorce decision regarding amount of child support you should pay, this is also something you must raise now. Michigan’s child support laws are strict, and a parent cannot retroactively modify his support order unless the order is clearly identified as a “temporary” or “interim” order or he files a motion to modify or terminate support (and then only to the date of filing the motion).

You should have an attorney’s help, but so long as your case is in the Friend of the Court system (and most are, unless you have opted out of the system), the Friend of the Court must make forms available for you to file these motion.

You should have an attorney’s assistance before making a divorce decision because the divorce laws in Michigan are deceivingly complex. Miss a filing deadline, for example, and you could be treated, conclusively, as the father of a child even your wife admits is not yours. If you do not have an attorney, contact one immediately. Cordell & Cordell practices throughout Michigan, and we would be happy to speak to you.

Be advised, although I am licensed to practice law in Michigan, I cannot give you legal advice regarding your final divorce decision without reviewing your case in full. Do not rely on this answer as establishing an attorney-client relationship, and contact an attorney immediately for legal advice and case-specific suggestions. Cordell & Cordell does practice in Michigan. Thank you for submitting your question.


Jennifer M. Paine is an Associate Attorney in the Detroit, Michigan office of Cordell & Cordell P.C. She is licensed to practice in Michigan, and has been admitted pro hac vice in Illinois, Ohio, and the United States Court of Federal Claims. Ms. Paine received her BA in English and Mathematics from Albion College and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She received her Juris Doctorate from MSU College of Law and graduated Summa Cum Laude.

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