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Legitimacy Law Questions

In many societies, law has denied persons of illegitimate birth the same rights of inheritance as those of legitimate birth, and in some societies, even the same civil rights are denied to persons of illegitimate birth. While proving legitimacy has become more of a social stigma, it can lead to a legal battle in some cases, resulting in questions about the laws around legitimacy. Read five of the top legitimacy law questions that have been answered by Lawyers on JustAnswer.

What is legitimacy?

The definition of legitimacy, according to common law definition, is the status of a child who is born to parents who are legally married to one another, or who is born shortly after the parents' marriage ends through divorce. The opposite of legitimacy is the status of being "illegitimate" – born to a woman and a man who are not married to one another.

If someone is not the main caregiver and tries to file for legitimacy would the court grant them custody of a child?

If they have not been then main caregiver for the child, the court is unlikely to give them custody unless it is deemed to be in the best interest of the child. However, the other spouse may continue to have parental rights, visitation rights and also have to pay for child support.

If someone was married and had a baby with someone else does the biological father have any rights if the spouse is willing to adopt the child?

If the couple were married at the time the child was conceived and the legal spouse wants to adopt the child and take on full responsibility of this child then usually the biological father may not be able to establish any rights to the child. One legal avenue for the biological father is to file for a DNA test. Even this cannot usually be enforced because the married couple can oppose and deny such a petition. If you are not sure of your legal standing, you could ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer. The Expert opinions and insights you receive can help you decide on the best legal recourse available to you.

If someone has been paying child support on a child and then finds out the child was not biologically theirs, can they get their child support payments refunded?

If the child was born during marriage, the spouse could find it difficult to get out of child support obligations, or seek a refund of the payments made. However, if the couple was not married, paternity testing for legitimacy can be filed to establish the biological parentage. In such situations, there may be legal avenues available. Family Lawyers on JustAnswer can share their Expert opinion to help you identify the best legal action you can take.

If someone commits adultery and has a child, what would the impact of a divorce have on the other spouse?

If the child is born into a marriage then the law recognizes the married couple as the legal parents of that child. In the event of a subsequent divorce, you may end up paying child support for someone else’s child unless you are able to get a DNA test done to establish paternity and absolve yourself of your responsibilities towards the child by proving that you are not the biological parent.

The law usually assumes legitimacy of a child conceived and/or born during a marriage. However, this may not always be the case. Proving legitimacy and paternity can sometimes end up being a complex legal maze, resulting in doubts, uncertainty and questions. Family Lawyers on JustAnswer can share their Expert legal insights and opinions on your specific situation to help you take informed decisions and identify the best legal recourse available to you. A quick and affordable solution to your legal questions could just be a click away when you ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer.
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