Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Pennsylvania

Can the father of my child collect child support from my deceased husband's estate in the State of Pennsylvania?

Asked on 5/15/13, 9:18 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Huh? The parents of a child have a duty to support the child. If your deceased husband is not the father of the child why would he or his estate be obligated to support the child? If your deceased husband adopted the child or if the child was born during the marriage and he is presumed to be the father, then the biological father really would have no obligations.

Since your post does not contain any relevant information, you will need to get the answers to the questions below to figure this out to decide whether your deceased husband or biological father is liable:

(1) were you married and living with your deceased husband (this assumes he was still alive) when the child was conceived? Did your deceased husband have access to you to engage in marital relations with you at the time the child was conceived?

(2) when was the child born and were you still married to and living with your deceased husband?

(3) Did your deceased husband know or have reason to know this was not his child?

(4) Why is this an issue? How is the biological father coming into the picture? Did he file for custody or child support? Why? Does he now have custody of the child?

(5) When did your deceased husband die?

(6) How do you know that the biological father is indeed the biological father of the child? Was DNA testing done? If so, when?

(7) Did your deceased husband know that this was not his child? Who did the birth certificate list as the father of the child?

You will then need to seek out a family law attorney and provide them with the information and get an opinion.

If the child was born during your marriage to the deceased husband and he had access to you to engage in relations, then the child would be considered the product of the marriage between you and your deceased husband. In such case, I don't see why the biological father would be claiming anything.

If you had a child from a prior relationship and then got married and then your child got older and went to live with the biological father and your then husband died but he never adopted the child, then the answer is no, the biological father could not seek support from your deceased husband's estate. However, you would still have a duty to support the child if he/she was under 18 and the biological father could seek support from you.

Again, if there are any other permutations, then you need to consult with a PA family lawyer.

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Answered on 5/15/13, 2:30 pm

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