Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.
“Can I be liable for back pay child support, if the paternity test was taken after the child?s 18th birthday?
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.”
Question: 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.