July 23, 2006
Case Law Development: Child Support May be Shared by Psychological and Biological Fathers
The New Jersey Court of Appeals reviewed a trial court's decision to order child support for a 15-year-old girl from both "her biological father, who was unknown to her until these proceedings, and the man she called Dad for almost ten years." In reviewing the appeal by the biological father, the court held that the biological father was properly ordered to submit to genetic testing, as daughter's relationship with her psychological father had already deteriorated and she sought to determine her biological father. The court further held that equitable estoppel did not make the psychological father solely responsible for the daughter's support, since biological parents have the primary support obligation absent exceptional circumstances. Here, the court found that while biological father had the primary support obligation, it was proper for him to share the obligation with the psychological father because the biological father could not pay the entire amount of support.
J.R. v. L.R., 2006 N.J. Super. LEXIS 198 (July 17, 2006)
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