In a case that may have implications for fathers around the country, including California, a court ruled that a man who was the biological parent of only one twin was obligated to pay support only for the child that was his genetic descendant. The case was brought before the Passaic County Superior Court in New Jersey, and the man claimed that he was not responsible for the support of a child that he did not father. A 1997 study cited in the ruling showed that about one out of 13,000 paternity cases involved twins who were sired by two different fathers, a process that is known to science as heteropaternal superfecundation.
According to the court, the mother had admitted to having sex with two different men around the time of the conception of the twins, but she only named one man as a potential father while petitioning the court for child support. The case is only the third such legal ruling in the history of the United States.
If a person has been ordered to pay child support or is being threatened with being sued for support and has concerns about the validity of the claim, it may be time for them to seek legal counsel. An attorney can explain how the process of contesting a petition for child support works.
A man questioning a paternity claim is allowed to request that medical testing be performed to determine parentage. Concerns may also be raised in court about the sexual activities of the petitioner at the time of conception. Married parents may, however, still be held liable for children that are not genetically related to them.
Source: ABC News, "New Jersey Twins Born to Different Dads - So Judge Rules Only 1 Gets Child Support," Gillian Mohney, May 8, 2015