Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
To a great extent, the first child is irrelevant to the discussion regarding the second child. As nothing has been legally established for the first child, that has little bearing on the legal case involving the second child.
As to the second child, assuming you dispute paternity, the court will likely order you to take a DNA test. If the results come back negative, then the case will be dismissed and you will have no rights or responsibilities in reference to this child. Conversely, if the results come back positive, then the court will establish a child support obligation. Additionally, if you desire to have contact, the court will address issues related to custody and visitation as well.
Please let me know if anything requires clarification.
Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.
Would the case be different if there was something court ordered for the first child or is it still irrelevant? If it would be different, how would it be different?
Yes, that could make a difference. When calculating child support, one factor taken into consideration is the amount of any child support paid pursuant to a court order. So, if you had a court order to pay support on the first child, this amount would be reduced from your income to help determine the support amount for the second child.
If you are interested, you and the mother from the first child could file a court action, establish custody and visitation and put in a child support figure as well. This, in turn, would help reduce the obligation for the second child.
SO it would still be possible to do this even though the second childs mother has already filed?
Yes. As you and the mother had an agreement in place for so long, it would just be a matter of making it more formal by filing it with the legal system. This could be accomplished rather quickly. The child support would then be taken into consideration when calculating the support for the second child.