The answer to this kind of question will depend on the facts of your case.
California Family Code Section 4053, states that “a parent’s first and principal obligation is to support his or her minor children according to the parent’s circumstances and station in life.” Therefore, before the court can make a child support order against anyone, it must first determine who the parents of the minor children are.
How Will I Know If I Am Legally the Father of My Spouse’s Children?
California Family Code Section 7611 provides the law for when a man is presumed to be the natural father of a child. A man is presumed to be the father if:
- He was married to the child’s mother when the child was conceived or born;
- He attempted to marry the mother (even if the marriage was not valid) and the child was conceived or born during the “marriage”;
- He married the mother after the birth and agreed either to have his name on the birth certificate or to support the child; or
- He welcomed the child into his home and openly acted as if the child was his own.
Therefore, if any of the circumstances apply to your case, you may be presumed to be the father of your spouse’s children.
You may be presumed to be the father for your spouse’s children even though you are not the biological father, if you openly and willingly presented your spouse’s children as if you were their biological father and often made this kind of representation. This is called parentage through estoppel.
What Am I Required to Do If I Am Presumed To Be the Father?
If it is determined that you are the father of your spouse’s children, under California law, you will have an obligation to support these children as if they were your own. Thus, in your divorce case, you may ordered by the court to pay child support for these children.
Going through a divorce alone is a complicated process. When you include the possibility of paying child support for your spouse’s children from a different relationship, the legal process becomes more complex. Our experienced and skilled attorneys can help you now. We have a dependable legal team. Call us today at 1-888-749-7428. Wallin and Klarich has offices in San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange Counties and can help you now. We will be there when you call.