Robert G. Smith, PLLC

Sherri Shepherd ordered to pay child support

New York residents who may be considering conceiving a child through a surrogate may be interested to learn that actress Sherri Shepherd lost her court appeal to stop paying child support on March 2. The actress and her then husband agreed to conceive the child through surrogacy when they were still married; however, she attempted to void the surrogacy contract when they got a divorce shortly after.

The child was conceived using her husband's sperm and an egg from a donor. According to the contract that was signed by both parties and the surrogate, Shepherd and her husband would raise the child together. However, the two had entered a legal battle by the time the child was born. Shepherd tried to have the contract voided and refused to sign the birth certificate. Ultimately, she wanted to walk away from the child as the child was not biologically hers.

In 2015, a trial court judge determined that Shepherd was legally the child's mother and that she would be responsible for paying child support until the child turned 13. She filed an appeal, but the decision was upheld in November. The case was taken to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, but it refused to overturn the decision.

Parents are legally responsible to financially support their children, even if the children do not share the same DNA. If the parents decide to get a divorce, it is likely that one parent will be responsible for paying child support. A family law attorney may help a noncustodial parent determine how much will be owed based on the child support guidelines. If the parent subsequently incurs other obligations, the attorney can present this information to the judge so that the child support order can be modified accordingly.

Source: Inquisitr, "Actress Sherri Shepherd Loses Surrogacy Case, Will Pay Support for Child", Jennifer Deutschmann, March 2, 2016

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