Dad Wasn't Dad After All But Still Owes Child Support - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 02-10-2007, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0209/p01s01-usju.html

I have mixed feelings on this. I mean, I have to believe that this guy thought this was his child... treated it like his child... and probably still does. Are people so crass that the minute the DNA results come out, they can just walk away?

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#2 of 32 Old 02-10-2007, 09:32 PM
 
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But... he didn't say he was going to walk away. I have mixed feelings too - but in the end I think he should not be financially responsible. But yet *should* have his rights to see the child protected, as he was allowed to form a strong bond under false pretenses.

Mostly because, the actual biological father should be pursued for child support! He conceived the child along with the mother, and they are responsible to provide for him.

Of course it's heartbreaking if he walks away from the child, but you know, even men who *are* biological fathers do this all the time. It depends on the person. A good man in this situation would keep the relationship, but the money aspect should be on his terms (for instance, saving money aside voluntarily to give the child later for college or whatever) I just can't accept that he *owes* that money.
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#3 of 32 Old 02-10-2007, 11:29 PM
 
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Many mens groups are trying to change child support laws because of these situations. We as woman should fight for these changes also. There are women that are offically married but get pregnant with another guy. He husband has rights to that child but the bio-dad doesn't.
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#4 of 32 Old 02-11-2007, 03:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
Many mens groups are trying to change child support laws because of these situations. We as woman should fight for these changes also. There are women that are offically married but get pregnant with another guy. He husband has rights to that child but the bio-dad doesn't.


Am familiar with a similar situation but turned sideways ... a woman who essentially didn't want to pay for a sperm bank with her boyfriend, so within a few months found a sucker to be with her, marry her, impregnate her ... and then she immediately left to go back with her boyfriend. Who of course wanted a child but hadn't wanted to pay for the sperm bank either. And yes, the sucker (who married a woman he barely knew) was left a few weeks after the wedding with child support payments for 21 years, plus responsibility for half of college tuition, life insurance, medical costs ... and he was *not* wealthy. Not even middle class. Talk about being left with your head spinning ...

He did, a few years later, marry and make a lovely (very AP) home.

But the first woman, well, IMO is nothing less than a criminal con artist. But she receives every child support payment on time, every month. And because she is a "mother," she is held up as some kind of saint.











It happens. Not all child support payments were created equal.
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#5 of 32 Old 02-11-2007, 12:03 PM
 
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I agree that it is unfair. But, IMO if I were the father, I would want to at least give some assistance to help out with the raising of the child if I had thought it was mine. And step-parents can be just as attached as bio-parents. If the bio dad could not/would not provide support, it just hurts the child, and I would hope that most people would step up to the plate.

My best friend's ex-husband had a daughter from an earlier girlfriend. Both parents were worthless (no joke) and she stepped up and takes the girl every chance that she can to buy her clothes, get her away from the very bad home she is in, etc. Even though she makes $4000 a year, and is a single mother of 4 and full time student.

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#6 of 32 Old 02-11-2007, 01:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dnw826 View Post
I agree that it is unfair. But, IMO if I were the father, I would want to at least give some assistance to help out with the raising of the child if I had thought it was mine. And step-parents can be just as attached as bio-parents. If the bio dad could not/would not provide support, it just hurts the child, and I would hope that most people would step up to the plate.

My best friend's ex-husband had a daughter from an earlier girlfriend. Both parents were worthless (no joke) and she stepped up and takes the girl every chance that she can to buy her clothes, get her away from the very bad home she is in, etc. Even though she makes $4000 a year, and is a single mother of 4 and full time student.
Oh, no doubt that would be nice but there is a difference between a man (person) that is willing giving it and one that is being force to because the laws are messed up. There shouldn't be a legal recorse for him not paying.
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#7 of 32 Old 02-11-2007, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by umsami View Post
http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0209/p01s01-usju.html

I have mixed feelings on this. I mean, I have to believe that this guy thought this was his child... treated it like his child... and probably still does. Are people so crass that the minute the DNA results come out, they can just walk away?
Are there women so crass that they would lie to their husbands, get pregnant by some other guy, and make that husband do the emotional, financial, and psychological duties of a father for a child not his own?
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#8 of 32 Old 02-11-2007, 01:26 PM
 
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I recall a similar case in Minnesota about 8-10 years ago and the judicial outcome was the same. You (the acting father) accepted the responsibility for raising this child under the presumption it was your own, so you will continue to provide financial support for him.

I'm somewhat on the fence about how it should be handled. I don't think either extreme is correct. But the fact is that it totally SUCKS for the poor child stuck in the middle of it all.

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#9 of 32 Old 02-11-2007, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
Are there women so crass that they would lie to their husbands, get pregnant by some other guy, and make that husband do the emotional, financial, and psychological duties of a father for a child not his own?
Boy! Maybe you've never watched daytime talk shows. I think this happens more than people care to know. It's wrong but this is a case where the laws try to side with the best interest of the child. The law changes from state to state which makes it harder to change. Guys need to know the law at least as good as the woman they are with.
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#10 of 32 Old 02-11-2007, 07:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
Are there women so crass that they would lie to their husbands, get pregnant by some other guy, and make that husband do the emotional, financial, and psychological duties of a father for a child not his own?
Women have affairs. You have to remember women always know it is their child men don't. Our ex-neighbor's wife had an affair. Got pregnant. He almost had to pay child support for that child. He had a vas and there was no way it was his (DNA proved it).
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#11 of 32 Old 02-11-2007, 07:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
Women have affairs. You have to remember women always know it is their child men don't. Our ex-neighbor's wife had an affair. Got pregnant. He almost had to pay child support for that child. He had a vas and there was no way it was his (DNA proved it).


It's unusual that he didn't have to, even with the DNA.

When my friend went through his situation (see my post #4 upthread) he was told very pointedly by the judge that the courts are loathe to take the legitimacy from the child of a marriage.

Meaning that if a child was born within the context of a marriage, it is very rare that the courts will remove one of the parents from the record as the child's parent And even if the true biological parent steps up to the plate. Or even if all the adult parties involved agree to the rearranging of the official parent line-up.

And yes, even if there is DNA evidence that the child is not a product of the marriage. The judge specified that as well.
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#12 of 32 Old 02-11-2007, 08:25 PM
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Boy! Maybe you've never watched daytime talk shows. I think this happens more than people care to know. It's wrong but this is a case where the laws try to side with the best interest of the child. The law changes from state to state which makes it harder to change. Guys need to know the law at least as good as the woman they are with.
Um, I was posing a rhetorical question.
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#13 of 32 Old 02-11-2007, 08:26 PM
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Women have affairs. You have to remember women always know it is their child men don't. Our ex-neighbor's wife had an affair. Got pregnant. He almost had to pay child support for that child. He had a vas and there was no way it was his (DNA proved it).
Wow. I am never going to pose a slightly tongue-in-cheek rhetorical question on this board again.

My point to UmSami, who asked,
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Are people so crass that the minute the DNA results come out, they can just walk away?
was basically to illustrate that it's not necessarily "crass" to "walk away" the "minute the DNA results come out," particularly since the men in this situation have, for the most part, been lied to by their wives and led to believe, in many cases, that they were not only married to faithful women, but had children that were biologically their own, when neither idea happened to be true. In short, I find it veeeery, very hard to believe, "Men bad, women good" on this one.
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#14 of 32 Old 02-11-2007, 09:22 PM
 
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And in something of a parallel strangeness, a person dear to me was involved with a man for several years (gay partners). Through some convoluted relationships that I didn't completely understand, the partner "Dan" became the father of a child born to a young woman. His name was put on the birth certificate despite the fact that the child was, in fact, not his. In return, he was able to legally call the child his own and raise him, although the mother is somewhat in the picture, with full custodial rights.

The child is not going to be told his true parentage, which really worries me on a certain level because it seems these things always squeak out one way or another....THEN there's hell to pay.

At any rate, it is the diametric opposite of what is going on with the OP. This man KNOWS he's not the father, but the mother put his name on the birth certificate anyway, which effectively bypassed any messy adoption issues (remember, he's gay). He has assumed full responsibility of this child and is, by all accounts, an outstanding father. But, IMO, the child is still being robbed of his birthright to know his parentage.

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#15 of 32 Old 02-11-2007, 10:21 PM
 
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Yeah, those laws need updating in a serious way. Presumption of paternity is one thing, but you ought to be able to file a suit and clear things up through DNA nowadays.

I remember reading my state's birth certificate application, which clearly states that a woman who was married at the estimated time of conception MUST name the man she was married to as the father, even if she knows that's not the case. :

My first daughter was conceived while I was separated but still legally married... I can't imagine having to name my stbx on her certificate. Especially when I hadn't had sex with the ex in months and months!

That'd make me, the ex, AND the actual father all insane.

Talk about hard feelings!
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#16 of 32 Old 02-11-2007, 10:23 PM
 
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Wow. I am never going to pose a slightly tongue-in-cheek rhetorical question on this board again.

My point to UmSami, who asked,


was basically to illustrate that it's not necessarily "crass" to "walk away" the "minute the DNA results come out," particularly since the men in this situation have, for the most part, been lied to by their wives and led to believe, in many cases, that they were not only married to faithful women, but had children that were biologically their own, when neither idea happened to be true. In short, I find it veeeery, very hard to believe, "Men bad, women good" on this one.
I am sorry didn't take it as rhetorical. I do know people that are very angered if you even mention women's indiscressions in this type of situation.
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#17 of 32 Old 02-11-2007, 10:33 PM
 
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Yeah, those laws need updating in a serious way. Presumption of paternity is one thing, but you ought to be able to file a suit and clear things up through DNA nowadays.

I remember reading my state's birth certificate application, which clearly states that a woman who was married at the estimated time of conception MUST name the man she was married to as the father, even if she knows that's not the case. :

My first daughter was conceived while I was separated but still legally married... I can't imagine having to name my stbx on her certificate. Especially when I hadn't had sex with the ex in months and months!

That'd make me, the ex, AND the actual father all insane.

Talk about hard feelings!
So what did you do? If you must name STBX, how did you get around it? If you don't mind answering that ... I know you may not want to, so feel free to ignore these questions. I'm just really curious.
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Um, I was posing a rhetorical question.

Um, I wasn't being snarky or anything. It's just sometimes hard to tell tone on a tone deaf computer
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#19 of 32 Old 02-12-2007, 12:29 AM
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Um, I wasn't being snarky or anything. It's just sometimes hard to tell tone on a tone deaf computer
No, I didn't think you were being snarky; I thought I'd just not communicated that the question was rhetorical so people took my question as a serious one.
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So what did you do? If you must name STBX, how did you get around it? If you don't mind answering that ... I know you may not want to, so feel free to ignore these questions. I'm just really curious.
She was stillborn at 21 weeks in another state. If she'd been born alive full-term, she would have been born in my state and subject to that crazy rule... but I had no idea about it till I had my second baby.

While married to the "correct" guy, fortunately.

I was thinking about this thread yesterday, and someone correct me if I'm totally off-base, but I once heard that Japan's law makes the ex-husband the official father of any baby born to a divorced woman for ONE FULL YEAR after the divorce is finalized!

eek! Can you imagine?
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#21 of 32 Old 02-14-2007, 05:19 PM
 
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There's no perfect answer to this problem, but I think the current law sounds pretty fair - you have up to one year to contest paternity after a divorce.

It seems fair to me that if you parent a child for more than a year, you can be presumed to have taken on the role of parent for a lifetime, even if the child is discovered to be genetically not yours.

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#22 of 32 Old 02-15-2007, 10:23 AM
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There's no perfect answer to this problem, but I think the current law sounds pretty fair - you have up to one year to contest paternity after a divorce.

It seems fair to me that if you parent a child for more than a year, you can be presumed to have taken on the role of parent for a lifetime, even if the child is discovered to be genetically not yours.
Here is why it is *not* fair.

Some women do, have, and will cheat guys out of a lifetime of child support and fathering under false pretenses. You're basically saying that all they have to do is successfully pull off a deception for one year and then they're good to go for the next eighteen.
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#23 of 32 Old 02-15-2007, 10:43 AM
 
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There's no perfect answer to this problem, but I think the current law sounds pretty fair - you have up to one year to contest paternity after a divorce.

It seems fair to me that if you parent a child for more than a year, you can be presumed to have taken on the role of parent for a lifetime, even if the child is discovered to be genetically not yours.
One problem with this seems to be that paying the child support doesn't give him contiued access to the child, it only gives the child continued access to his money.

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#24 of 32 Old 02-15-2007, 11:00 AM
 
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Oh heck no - if he's dad, he should be dad all the way! Paying support AND eligible for custody or visitation. That was not how I read the results, but I could be wrong. (Also, I assumed the year was a year after the birth AND divorce, so there would be a minimum of one year to contest paternity).

I don't really think it's "fair" - it is just less unfair than other options and it seems like there ought to be some rule about it. Could a man act as dad until a child is a teenager and needs braces or is acting up (maybe doing drugs or getting arrested), so then the man does a paternity test years and years after the divorce and declares he shouldn't have to pay child support or doesn't want to be responsible for the troubled teen anymore. Should the courts let him off the hook? He's no longer dad - we'll just go search out bio-dad years later and ask him to step in as a father?

Yes, it is wrong, wrong, wrong, for a woman to perpetrate this sort of fraud on a husband. No argument from me there.

But it seems very potentially damaging to children to allow a man declare at any point in the child's life that he should no longer be legally the child's parent, even though he's acted in that role for years. And certainly I think the reverse should be true also - if a woman lets a man act as dad to her child then she shouldn't be able to declare later - hey, you really aren't the father so I no longer going to let you see that child.

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#25 of 32 Old 02-15-2007, 11:04 AM
 
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Some women do, have, and will cheat guys out of a lifetime of child support and fathering under false pretenses.
Which man do you think is cheated? The one who pays child support, but gets to attend baseball games and receive father's dad cards made in kindergarten and teach a child how to ride a bike? Or the man who doesn't have to pay any money, but doesn't receive the benefits of fatherhood either?

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#26 of 32 Old 02-15-2007, 12:12 PM
 
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I recall a similar case in Minnesota about 8-10 years ago and the judicial outcome was the same. You (the acting father) accepted the responsibility for raising this child under the presumption it was your own, so you will continue to provide financial support for him.

I'm somewhat on the fence about how it should be handled. I don't think either extreme is correct. But the fact is that it totally SUCKS for the poor child stuck in the middle of it all.
I think I prefer the ambiguity and the idea that each issue would be settled on a case by case basis. A father is more than a sperm donor. A sperm donor is less than a father. But in the end, I would hope that the judge would work backwards from the child's interest and not forward from the "fathers".

And I am speaking as a father.
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#27 of 32 Old 02-15-2007, 06:14 PM
 
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Which man do you think is cheated? The one who pays child support, but gets to attend baseball games and receive father's dad cards made in kindergarten and teach a child how to ride a bike? Or the man who doesn't have to pay any money, but doesn't receive the benefits of fatherhood either?
That really depends, doesn't it? While it's generally true that women are often under the severe financial stress after a divorce (not true in my case - by getting divorced, I offloaded my biggest financial liability), men get squeezed, too. The picture you paint there is very nice, but I've seen an awful lot of cases where the guy has to pay child support, but doesn't get the chance to teach the kid to ride a bike or go to baseball games. That's a pretty poor deal when the guy was lied to in the first place. I don't necessarily think that support should be dependent on access, but there are a fair number of guys out there who are paying and aren't receiving the benefits of fatherhood.

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#28 of 32 Old 02-15-2007, 06:18 PM
 
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I don't get this at all:
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Part of the difficulty in paternity disestablishment cases is that once the financial contribution of the nonbiological father is terminated, the courts do not recognize a legal right to continued contact between the child and the man.
Why is this an issue? Does the guy really want to be able to keep being "dad" to the child, but not pay for the child's support, because it's not biologically his? That's pretty screwed up.

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#29 of 32 Old 02-15-2007, 06:20 PM
 
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When my friend went through his situation (see my post #4 upthread) he was told very pointedly by the judge that the courts are loathe to take the legitimacy from the child of a marriage.
That's kind of amusing. If a woman cheats on her husband, and has a baby with someone else, how exactly is it the courts who are "taking the legitimacy" from the child? That would be mom - not the judge.

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#30 of 32 Old 02-15-2007, 07:06 PM
 
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I remember reading my state's birth certificate application, which clearly states that a woman who was married at the estimated time of conception MUST name the man she was married to as the father, even if she knows that's not the case. :
I was still legally married to my ex when my daughter was born but put withheld on her birth certificate. Of course it didn't matter as far as divorce court went because he was still ordered to pay child support. I haven't seen a penny in more than 13 years however. It is NOT worth going after.

My cousin also had two kids with the same man while still legally married to someone else. One of the kids, (I can't remember if it was the one born in California or Nevada) her ex had to sign some paper saying the child wasn't his and give his permission not to list him on the birth certificate or some weird thing. It was probably the one in Nevada because I lived in California when I didn't put anyone on the birth certificate.
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