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Court Finds Twins Have Different Fathers

How do paternity tests affect child support?

A New Jersey court recently ruled that a set of twins born in 2013 were fathered by two different men. The case originated when the twins' mother filed for child support payments from one of the twins' fathers. The mother admitted to sleeping with two different men in the same week the twins were conceived but only listed her romantic partner as the father on the twins’ birth certificate. The Passaic County Board of Social Services ordered a DNA test, which showed the twins had different DNA.

The occurrence of twins conceived by two different men is extremely rare as shown in about 1 in 13,000 cases in a 1997 study performed by Dr. Karl-Hanz Wurzinger who testified in this case. Although it is rare, it is possible that many of these types of cases go unnoticed unless the babies are born with easily identifiable different characteristics such as race.

The biology of these situations is interesting. A woman can produce more than one egg during a menstrual cycle, which can lead to the birth of fraternal twins. Women remain fertile for five to seven days, and if intercourse with different men occurs within that time period, the men could fertilize the different eggs producing twins as in this case.

After the DNA results were received, the court ruled that the father named in the child support case only owed support for one of the babies. This case was one of first impression for New Jersey courts. Judge Sohail Mohammed commented in the opinion that only two other cases in the United States had considered a similar situation.

If you need to file for child support or have a paternity issue, contact Stinson Moyle, PLLC. We are Texas board-certified family law attorneys with extensive experience. Contact us today at (512) 948-3688 for a consultation.