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Sherri Shepherd loses appeal to avoid child support of son

New Jersey television watchers may have heard that actress and TV personality Sherri Shepherd has lost her appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to avoid legal responsibility for her young son. The ruling came down on March 2.

Shepherd and then-husband Lamar Sally signed a contract with a 23-year-old woman to conceive a child using Sally's sperm and a donor egg. According to the contract, both Shepherd and Sally were to be listed as the parents on the baby's birth certificate and they were to raise the child together. However, the couple separated before the birth of the baby, and Shepherd attempted to void the contract. When the baby boy was born, she refused to be listed on his birth certificate. She also declined to see him or provide any financial support.

After a Pennsylvania judge ruled that Shepherd was the boy's legal mother in April 2015, her name was added to his birth certificate and she was ordered to pay child support. She appealed the decision to an appellate court but lost in November. Undeterred, she appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which upheld the lower court's ruling. In 2014, the actress was also involved in a custody fight for her 9-year-old son from a previous relationship. The boy's father accused Shepherd of caring more about her career than their son's needs. He claimed she failed to teach him how to read or how to care for his personal hygiene. A judge ruled in Shepherd's favor in July 2014.

Child support disputes can be emotionally difficult and lead to protracted court battles. Family law attorneys will advise their clients who are in the middle of one that the court bases these decisions in large part on the best interests of the child.

Source: Inquisitr, "Sherri Shepherd: Actress Loses Appeal, Ordered to Continue Paying Child Support," Jennifer Deutschmann, March 2, 2016

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