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Paternity issues of separated, but not-yet-divorced couples

Media frenzy arose after rapper Kanye West announced that he and his girlfriend Kim Kardashian are expecting a baby. Some of the media attention has focused on potential paternity issues for this Hollywood couple. The paternity issues stem from the fact that Kardashian separated from her husband more than a year ago, but the divorce is still not finalized.

Initially, it was reported that West would have to prove his paternity since Kardashian is still married to her husband, Kris Humphries. This report was based on California's law that a married woman's husband is presumed to be the father of her child unless very clear evidence shows that the husband is not the baby's father.

However, a recent report indicates that since Kardashian and Humphries have not been living together since their separation, Humphries will not automatically be named as the father. Instead, West will likely take a paternity test to prove his identity as the baby's father.

When a baby is born, it is critical that the parents clearly state the identities of the legal or biological parents as soon as possible. If a father discovers that his daughter is really another man's daughter, serious issues could surface and complicate a divorce or custody issues.

New Yorkers who are separated from spouses or in the process of a separation or divorce may want to look into New York's policies for paternity tests in the midst of a divorce or separation. As the story regarding Kardashian and West's potential paternity issues shows, there are many unexpected situations that can arise during a divorce that may be quite complicated.

Source: Huffington Post, "Kim Kardashian, Kanye West will not have to provide evidence of their baby's paternity," Jan. 3, 2013

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