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Does PA law automatically make a married man financially responsible for another mans child after he gets divorced from the mom?

Mercersburg, PA |

I know someone that his wife left him for another man after 5 yrs of marriage. They got back together & she, after about a month, said she was pregnant. The baby was born 3 mths early and was very healthy. I don't know what happened behind closed doors & if he ever questioned her about the baby. I think he didn't want to think she could do something so terrible, so he just did what he thought was right. His wife decided to leave him for yet another man and they went through a divorce finally. Is he now responsible for the baby that is now 4 yrs old if she would take him for child support? He still gets all of the kids (2 that aren't his but he loves them) & pays child support on his own. I just worry with the kind of person she is she's going to try to hurt him for her own gain once again.

Attorney Answers 2


Yes, your friend will likely be found to be the father regardless whether the child is his or not. There is a doctrine in Pennsylvania known as "paternity by estoppel". This doctrine states that if a person continues to hold himself out to be the parent of the child, and continues to undertake actions to foster a relationship with that child, that the Court will hold him to be the father of that child, which would therefore entitle the mother to support.

The answer provided is for general information only. No attorney-client relationship has been formed. Please contact an attorney in your area for case-specific advice.

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I agree with Mr. Hirschmann. Suggest to your friend that he schedule an appointment with an experienced family law attorney in his area to discuss his situation in detail and learn what options he may have.

Be sure to click Best Answer if you found this helpful. Disclaimer: Please note that this response does not in any way an attorney-client relationship between Kathryn L. Hilbush and the recipient. My responses are general in nature. They do not constitute legal advice. You are advised to consult an attorney regarding this and any other legal matters.

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