Child support—disputed paternity
Child support—disputed paternity

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Child support—disputed paternity
  • Assumption of paternity
  • Denial of paternity where assumptions don't apply
  • Denial of paternity where assumptions apply
  • Effect on liability

Section 26 of the Child Support Act 1991 (CSA 1991) provides that where a person who is alleged to be the parent of a child for whom a maintenance calculation has been made, denies that he is one of the child’s parents, the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) shall not make a maintenance calculation on the assumption that the alleged parent is one of the child’s parents, unless the case falls into one of the categories set out in CSA 1991, s 26(2), see: Assumption of paternity. CSA 1991 also makes provision as to a denial of paternity where assumptions don't apply and a denial of paternity where assumptions apply.

For general guidance on the statutory child support scheme, see Practice Note: Child support—general considerations.

Assumption of paternity

The CMS can make a maintenance calculation on the assumption that the alleged parent is the relevant child’s father in the following cases:

Case A1

Where the child is habitually resident in England and Wales, and:

  1. the alleged parent was married to the child’s mother at some time in the period beginning with the conception and ending with the birth of the child, and

  2. the child has not been adopted

Case A2

Where the child is habitually resident in England and Wales, and:

  1. the alleged parent has been registered as the father of the child, and

Related documents: