Law Office of Dawn R. Underhill
Many Illinois residents may be surprised to learn of how the law applies to some unique family circumstances. While societal norms have changed dramatically over the past several decades, the law still has some quirks in the child custody arena.
For instance, many may have heard of the pending divorce of reality star Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. Despite Kardashian’s filing for divorce in October 2011 after the couple’s 72-day marriage, the couple is still legally married because the divorce has not yet become final.
Now, it seems the couple’s continued status as a married couple may impact the paternity of Kardashian’s unborn baby. Kardashian and musician Kanye West recently announced they are expecting a baby together, and thus West is apparently the biological father of the child.
However, because Kardashian and Humphries are still legally married, Humphries is presumed to be the father of the child. Typically, a married man is presumed to be the father if the child is born during the marriage or shortly after, in the eyes of the law. Accordingly, West will have to submit to a DNA test to establish paternity.
Even if West establishes paternity, Kardashian would likely be awarded legal custody over the child. This is because in cases of unmarried parents, the mother is often awarded custody unless the father takes certain steps to obtain custody.
In general, child custody determinations are similar for unmarried parents as for divorcing parents. However, the process may be somewhat simplified because the couple does not need to divide property and assets, as a divorcing couple would need to do.
Source: CNN Blog, “In Cali, Kris Humphries is the presumed dad of Kim K.’s baby,” Jan. 3, 2013