Matthew McConaughey and David Spade Having Babies? Baby Daddy vs Legal Father

Posted on Jan 16, 2008 in Celebrity Justice

matthewmcconaughey.jpgMatthew McConaughey has posted the news on his site this morning that his girlfriend Camilla Alves is pregnant — he’s very excited, writing that “… we are  stoked and wowed by this miracle of creation and this gift from God,” and that the pregnancy is about three months along.

Meanwhile, TMZ is reporting that  an ex-girlfriend of David Spade has announced that she is pregnant with Spade’s child — Spade has responded that yes, they dated and yes, he’ll take responsibility if it’s his child.

When is someone the legal father of a child?  It’s not just when the mother says they are…..

The law may vary slightly from state to state, but the general rules are (1) first, if the couple is married, the legal presumption is that the husband is the father;  and (2) second, if the couple is not married, then the father is “alleged” or “assumed” without legal rights or responsibilities until he is proven to be the child’s parent.  How does he prove it?  By legal evidence:  either DNA testing or legally recognized admission.

For example, a baby daddy might like the idea of being a dad, but cringe at the thought of paying child support to an ex-girlfriend.  They can make friendly arrangements on parenting, but he’s not legally responsible to pay any set amount of child support — and she’s not legally required to allow him visitation with the child — until he’s legally established as the baby’s father.

And no, if the mother signs his name on the birth certificate, it’s not conclusive proof that he is the legal father.  The father may be able to sign an affidavit or otherwise provide a legal admission that he is the father, however – this would avoid the need for scientific proof via a DNA testing.

Right now, both McConaughey and Spade are in the same legal boat.  But their situations are very different, as are their responses.

Sounds like Matthew McConaughey is very happy with impending parenthood and will readily sign whatever documentation is needed to establish himself as the father (maybe even a marriage certificate before the birth?).

David Spade, on the other hand, sounds like he’s going to want scientific reassurance that he’s the biological father before he’s going to take on the role of dad.  And, yes, if he doesn’t do that voluntarily, the mother can use legal means to force DNA testing after the baby is born, probably establishing child support in the same proceeding.�

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