Testa & Pagnanelli, LLC
Free Initial Consultation215-392-0863
  1. Home
  2. Blog

Convicted Rapists May Pay Child Support Despite Loss of Rights

Parents who divorce are required to continue to financially support their children. Generally, whichever parent does not have custody of the children will pay child support to the parent who does - the custodial parent. However, Pennsylvania residents should be aware that child support is not limited to the context of divorce. In fact, even children born as a result of a sexual assault are entitled to be supported.

Under current law in Pennsylvania, a man who fathers a child through the act of rape is required to shoulder the financial responsibility for the child by making regular child support payments. However, if the biological father's parental rights are terminated - as almost certainly a mother in such a scenario would seek to do, rather than share parental rights - the law actually relieves the man of that responsibility.

A local lawmaker is planning to introduce legislation that would require convicted rapists who father a child to pay child support even when their parental rights are terminated. The bill aims to save rape victims the agony of choosing between child support and sharing parental rights. The bill has been drafted and is presently being circulated for co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.

If this proposal were to pass into law, establishing a child's paternity when the mother was a victim of sexual assault would take on even greater significance. It is important to understand, then, that in cases where a father contests paternity, a mother may seek a paternity action. This will require the putative father to appear in court and submit to a DNA test. Assuming DNA testing establishes the putative father's paternity of the child - and such tests are accurate 99 percent of the time - the court will rule on the father's paternity. The mother may then be entitled to receive child support.

Child support and paternity cases can present significant challenges. Pennsylvania parents struggling with these issues are advised to consult with a family law professional who can help evaluate a parent's rights and options.

Source: abc27, "Pa. lawmaker wants rapists to pay child support," Myles Snyder, Feb. 13, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Start Your Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Office Locations

Philadelphia Office
1500 JFK Blvd, Suite 1020
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Toll Free: 866-201-1112
Phone: 215-392-0863
Philadelphia Law Office Map

Montgomery County Office
25 West Airy Street, Suite 200
Norristown, PA 19401

Toll Free: 866-201-1112
Phone: 610-239-1000
Norristown Law Office Map

Radnor Office
150 N. Radnor Chester Road, Suite F-200
Radnor, PA 19087

Toll Free: 866-201-1112
Phone: 215-392-0863
Radnor Law Office Map