27 May Man Fathers Twins: Must Pay Child Support for One, Not Both
Child support payment is the method in which our legal system enforces joint responsibility for the offspring that are rendered. It is not just the mother or the custodial parent that must raise the child, but there should be some contribution, monetary or relational, that comes from the other half of the equation. Generally, child support, regardless of the financial status of either parent, is a shared, required responsibility between the two parents, even when one parent does not have custodial or visitation rights over the children.
South Carolina Child Support Calculations
In South Carolina, the amount of money that is owed to the custodial parent for the care of the child takes into consideration the monthly gross income of the parents, the number of children in the home, and the amount of expenses that each child incurs as a result of being raised, among other factors.
Issues Surrounding Child Support
Many times separated parents argue over the amount of child support, the division of child support amounts, what expenses must be incorporated into child support accounting, and the like. In a precedent-setting case in New Jersey, the main contention in the child support case surrounded the following question: who should pay for the twins at the center of the child support case? The twist: one twin had the genetic material from one father, while the other twin came from another.
A Strange Case: Bipaternal Twins, Who Pays Child Support?
The case mentioned above started like any other. A mother with twins set out to file a claim for child support from the man who she believed had fathered the children. When it was revealed that she had had another sexual encounter within a week of her encounter with the man she had filed against, the court required a paternity test. The paternity test revealed that the twins were bipaternal, meaning that one of the twins belonged to one man, while the other belonged to the father in question.
Bipaternal Twins: The Science Behind
How does this happen? Bipaternal twins, also known as superfecundation, occurs when two separate fathers fertilize a woman’s eggs within the same menstruation cycle. Because the viability of sperm can last up to five days, providing that if a woman has sex with two separate men in one week, it is possible that the mother will be fertilized with two eggs from two separate sperm.
Legal Issues Surrounding Rare Condition
Though a rare condition (it is estimated that this occurs 1 in every 13,000 twins), this phenomenon is becoming more popular especially with the rise in reproductive technologies such as IVF with gay couples where the bipaternal twins could be a product of both parents. Many believe that this phenomenon is also more common than originally thought but because this is a rarity, it is unusual to test to make sure that the twins come from the same man.
The Court’s Opinion
Accordingly, the New Jersey court decided to assign paternity of one child to the father at the center of the claim. As a result, he only needs to pay child support for the one twin, while the other man that the woman had intercourse with will now have to support the other twin.
Experienced Family Law Attorneys in the Charleston Area
Paternity issues and child support do not only extend to bipaternal twins. Speaking with the experienced family law attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC might help resolve many of the child support issues that may arise. Contact Klok Law Firm LLC today for an initial and confidential consultation.