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Do I Have to Pay Child Support If I Haven’t Established Paternity?

Blogs from June, 2022

father and baby

If you and your child’s other parent have split, you may be unsure how to handle child support. Your overall child support payment and establishment are highly dependent on your individual circumstances, including if you’ve already established paternity. Our Pasadena child support attorneys share how child support and paternity relate when seeking monthly support.

Parentage Must Be Established Before Child Support Can Be Ordered

Before a parent can seek child support, legal parentage must be established for both parents. While California requires both parents to be financially responsible for the child, this financial responsibility does not kick in until the parentage is established for both parents.

If your child only has established paternity for one parent, child support can not yet be sought, and parentage must first be established for the other parent.

Establishing Parentage

If you and your child’s other parent divorce, parentage will automatically be established. This means that you will not need to seek paternity to establish a child support or custody order for your children.

However, if you and your child’s other parent annulled your marriage or never married, paternity will not be automatically established for the child's father, while the child’s mother is automatically granted paternity. This is important to understand before seeking child support, as if the child’s father does not have paternity established already, child support payments cannot be established.

To seek child support for your child, the other parent must establish paternity, either voluntarily or through a court order. If you and the child’s other parent communicate effectively and both are certain of the child’s parentage, you can voluntarily fill out a document that grants paternity to the child’s father when legally filed. If you wish for the other parent to establish paternity so you can seek child support, you can also file a motion for a court order to establish paternity.

To learn more about establishing parentage, read our blog, “How Do We Establish Paternity?”

Pasadena Child Support Attorneys

At Law Offices of Christopher L. Hoglin, P.C., we understand that the legal link between you and your child is necessary for seeking child support payments or custody of the child. Our child custody and support attorneys can guide you through your individual situation and help you understand what you need to do legally to support your child in the best way possible.

Are you interested in seeking child support? Schedule a free consultation with our child support attorneys today by calling (626) 653-4075 or contacting us online. Our attorneys are available and prepared to answer any questions you may have.