In the state of Alabama, there is a rebuttable presumption that the husband in a marriage is the father of any child that is born during the marriage or within 300 days of a divorce.
However, as we all know, it is certainly possible for a child to be born during a marriage and for the husband to not be the biological father.
If this is the situation and the marriage ends, the husband will need to prove that he is not the father of the child in order to be off the hook for child support. As we discussed in an article on our website, DNA testing can be used to clearly establish whether or not a man is biologically related to a child, but a paternity action will still be needed.
There are also rebuttals to the marital presumption of paternity under common law which include impotence and being from the country. Cases involving these rebuttals are extremely rare, though it is possible that they could be used in a paternity case today.
Ultimately, when a husband believes that he is not biologically related to a child that was conceived during the marriage because of an extramarital affair, he should speak with an experienced family law attorney immediately to make sure that his rights are protected.
Although it may seem clear in the man’s eyes that he is not the father, it might not be clear in the eyes of the law.
Failing to address the paternity issue could hold the man liable for child support payments and it could also affect the distribution of the man’s estate upon his death if the child is considered an heir.
The issue also reminds us of how important it is to go through divorce or separation in order for the law to recognize the end of a marital relationship and any presumptions that arise there from.