I am married, but a woman I had a brief sexual relationship with is claiming she is pregnant and the child is mine.
How do I protect myself and my family financially if genetic testing proves I am the child’s father? Will I have to pay child support, and if so, can I have the wages come out of my paycheck and not my wife’s?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on New Jersey paternity laws where I am licensed to practice.
Where I practice, a motion to establish child support cannot be filed until after the child is born. If this other woman decides to file a motion for child support, you should definitely request a paternity test.
If the genetic testing definitively concludes that you are the baby’s father, then you will be obligated to pay child support.
In general, child support is calculated based upon the incomes of the parents of the child. Thus only your wages would be subject to a wage garnishment. In my state, your spouse would not have an obligation to support a child born from another relationship.
Further, once paternity is established, you could be obligated to contribute towards other expenses, such as work-related day care, which would be factored into the child support award.
Additionally, if the child’s mother does not have medical insurance, you may be obligated to provide medical coverage for the child as well.
Child support and paternity related issues can be very complicated.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.