Take this situation: A man named John has been married to Jane for around twenty years. She’s always been a stay at home wife/mother. They have three children, ages 17, 14, 11. John is fairly well known in the smallish suburban town he lives in – he’s president of the Lion’s Club or a deacon in his church, something like that.
At some point John meets Alice Brown, and they have sex a few times, just a thing that flairs up and then ends, no grand passion. Alice gets pregnant and decides to have the child. She thinks the timing means John is the likely father.
She decides to put his name down as the father on the child’s birth certificate, names the kid “John XXX, Jr,” and asks for child support. John asks for a paternity test.
(BTW, side question, can a woman simply say the father is XXXX on the birth certificate, assuming she’s not married to him, or anyone for that matter? Or does it take the consent of the man to be so listed? And is she free to give the child any (non-obscene) surname she pleases?)
Back to the main matter:
Suppose the paternity test shows John is indeed the father. How is the amount of child support determined? A big factor is his income, of course, and Alice’s. But do they also take into account the other, earlier, claims on his income? John is also supporting Mary and their three children, probably looking at paying for college for three children in the near future. Is the child support for John, Jr. likely to be set at a lower amount because of that, than it would if he were a single man without those responsibilities?
Suppose the paternity test shows John is NOT the father. Obviously he doesn’t have to pay child support. But can the woman still name the kid John XXX, Jr?
Does that depend at all on what the XXX part is? I mean, if the kid is John Smith, Jr, so what? There are no doubt thousands of other John Smiths in the world and maybe several in Suburbville where they all live. No one should jump to the conclusion that means that the John Smith who is President of the Lion’s Club has anything to do with the kid.
On the other hand, if the surname is something like Picklethwaite… yeah. Could he get the court to block her from giving the kid that name?