Why is my wife’s child that she had with her boyfriend legally mine?
Why would my wife’s child that she had with her boyfriend while we were separated be my legal child? And now I have to pay child support for the child?????????
“That baby isn’t mine! But, why does the judge say it’s legally my child?!”
These are questions that more and more people have as the caselaw in Florida is a little complicated.
The premise that a child borne during an intact marriage makes the Husband the legal father is hard for some people to grasp. However, the state of the law is that if you’re separated from your wife and she has a child with somebody else it’s actually legally your child. WHAT?! Yes, it’s true you may not be the biological father but you are the legal father and may be required to provide support. Yup, Child Support until the child emancipates.
Many people can’t believe this could be true but if you look at what the Florida Statutes and the Florida Constitution, it’s clear that the best interest of the child prevails. Therefore they’re looking out for the best interest of the child rather than you. So to render the child without a Father is not something many Courts like to do and the Florida Constitution makes it a little more complicated.
We get it. You may have nothing to do with your wife. You may not have seen her in 9 months…hmmm..OK, let’s say 2 years to play it safe!
There are ways for the courts to enter Final judgments which provide for an unborn child or born child that is not the biological child of the father to be correctly stated that it is not the legal father’s responsibility (her husband’s responsibility) rather it is actually the biological father’s responsibility. Now the tricky part is that these are dealt with on a case-by-case basis and rules accordingly. That’s why it’s very important to be prepared and to speak to an attorney about this before any hearing on this issue or signing any agreement which does not take this into account. It is very important to prepare your case to prepare the necessary documents to give the judge the ability to order that you are now not liable for child support to that child. This is not easy. Sometimes very complicated and again, you should be speaking with attorneys if you’re presented with this situation. You don’t want to end up paying child support on a child that isn’t yours.
At the end of the day, it’s the best interest of the child analysis. So if you say, well “My wife agreed and we are good,” the court could always overrule everything agreed upon by you and your wife; therefore, that is why this is so important and to contact an attorney that has dealt with these issues before.