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  1. #1

    Default Divorce and Paternity, With Child Born During Separation

    State: Texas and Michigan

    My friend was married to his ex-wife for approximately five years, however, they were only in a relationship for a little over one of those years. After my friend and his wife broke up, she moved to Texas and he moved to Michigan. About 4-5 months after his wife moved to Texas, she was in a fatal car accident which put her in a coma (I am unsure how long she was in a coma for, but I don't think it was a long time). Anyways, after she recovered, she became pregnant (not by my friend) and had a son. However, her and the child's father broke up about a year ago and she is now trying to seek child support from him. Her divorce from my friend was finalized this past January, and she has contacted him asking for his social security number, driver's license number, etc because she said she needs it to fill out the paperwork to seek child support and my friend's information is necessary because though he is not the father of the child, he was legally her husband at the time she gave birth to her son. Is this normal? Can she try and seek custody from my friend assuming he is not the father (while a paternity test has never been done, he hadn't slept with since she moved to Texas, so about 4-5 months before her car accident, and her accident was severe enough that she would most likely have miscarried had she been pregnant at the time, she had a crushed pelvis in addition to other abdominal and brain trauma, so it is highly unlikely that he would be the father. In addition, her boyfriend at the time of the child's birth and the assumed father is listed on the child's birth certificate) but was her husband at the time? Should he be worried about providing this information to her? He has already told her that he will not give her the information directly but will provide it to a lawyer or the court should they contact him (so that she doesn't have his information). I'm not sure if this matters, but their divorce was processed in Michigan and I'm pretty sure the reason given for the divorce was the usual irreconciable differences.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
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    28,624

    Default Re: Divorce and Paternity, With Child Born During Separation

    You say that she lives in Texas, he lives in Michigan, and the divorce was filed in Michigan? Did he file the divorce? What does the divorce judgment say about children - does it say that there were children born during the marriage, that there were no children, or that there was a child but it was not your friend's child?
    Quote Quoting madelinerock
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    About 4-5 months after his wife moved to Texas, she was in a fatal car accident which put her in a coma (I am unsure how long she was in a coma for, but I don't think it was a long time). Anyways, after she recovered, she became pregnant....
    Fatal to someone else?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Divorce and Paternity, With Child Born During Separation

    The divorce was filed in Michigan by him, and children were not mentioned in the divorce papers because I remember him saying that the paperwork was relatively easy for him to do on his own since they had no assets, children, etc to worry about. He isn't that concerned that she will try and seek support from him, but neither of us really understand why the court in Texas would need his personal information to process a child support claim against someone else, just because he was married to her, but separated from her at the time.

    As for the accident, his ex-wife was a passenger in the vehicle that caused the accident. All three passengers in that vehicle survived (the driver is in prison, my friend's ex-wife mostly recovered but has lasting brain damage, and I'm not sure what happened to the third person in that vehicle). All the passengers in the other vehicle (I believe it was a mother and two sons) died at the scene.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,624

    Default Re: Divorce and Paternity, With Child Born During Separation

    Her explanation is that she is trying to obtain child support from her boyfriend (who you believe to be the child's father) and she says that the State of Texas wants her ex-husband's SSN and driver's license number? I suspect that there is something going on that she isn't telling you about, such as her boyfriend's disputing paternity and trying to get the State of Texas to compel paternity testing of your friend.

    If a paternity action is pending in a Texas court, and he knows the county where the mother and child live, he can probably order a copy of the court file from the court to try to find out what is going on. Some courts now have online features which let you check the history and status of a case, which (if available) may also help him figure out what is going on.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Divorce and Paternity, With Child Born During Separation

    This is an issue I am very familiar with...

    In Texas, the husband of a woman giving birth to a child is the PRESUMED father. There is a statute of limitation of four years to rebut the presumption....however there are exceptions: if the husband and wife did not co-habitate at the time of conception; the husband and wife did not engage in sex during the probable period of conception; and the husband has not held the child out as his own or had a relationship with the child.

    If the child is more than 4 years old, the boyfriend can argue that the statute for rebuttal of the husband's presumed paternity has expired. The mother and the ex-husband will need to prove that their circumstances meet the rules for exception of the statute limitation for rebuttable.

    It would also be important to know EXACTLY has the divorce decree reads with respect to children. Does it expressly state that there are no children of the marriage. Did the wife participate in the divorce proceeding at all, or was it granted by default?

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