Do I Pay Back Child Support If I Take a Paternity Test After the Child Turns 18?

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“Can I be liable for back pay child support, if the paternity test was taken after the child?s 18th birthday?

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Background: I live in California. I believe I conceived a child at the age of 17 years old. The mother, put her boyfriends name at the time, on the birth certificate but they were never married. He raised the child as his own for 17 years. The child will be 18 years old in a couple of months.

The mother later broke up with the father and went on welfare for a few years. He is currently, paying child support and back pay to welfare. He has since remarried. I am also married.”

If there was no father, then it might be possible for the state to come after you for welfare payments. Had there been a case filed to establish support prior to the child turning 18, then there also is a potential for a support duty. However, it is likely that presumed father filed a declaration of paternity in order to get on the birth certificte, and therefore you are likely off the hook legally. In California, Famly Code Section 7573 provides: “Except as provided in Sections 7575, 7576, and 7577, a completed voluntary declaration of paternity, as described in Section 7574, that has been filed with the Department of Child Support Services shall establish the paternity of a child and shall have the same force and effect as a judgment for paternity issued by a courtof competent jurisdiction. The voluntary declaration of paternity shall be recognized as a basis for the establishment of an order for child custody, visitation, or child support.” I am not aware of any proactive thing for you to do at this time.



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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.

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