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Possible Dad cut off; can he ever be financially liable?


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Old 11-24-2003, 08:10 AM   #1
mouse62
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Possible Dad cut off; can he ever be financially liable?

Just wondering -- my current husband was dating a woman just a few months before he started dating me (we have now been together 9 years, have an 7- and 5- yr old, and are still happy together).

The girl he had been dating got pregnant while they were dating and at the time my husband assumed he was the father. But this girl completely cut him out of her life, citing that he had a loser job, refusing to tell him when the first ultrasound was so he could go, then the final straw was she told my husband's best friend that the baby's father was this dude that she had supposedly broken up with long ago but whom she had been seeing the same time she had been seeing my current husband. My husband has not seen nor heard from or of her for about 10 years now.

what I worry about is that she could suddenly pop into our lives -- again, it's been 10 years now -- and change her mind about who the dad is (like, if she is suddenly interested in collecting money from someone else if the other "dad" walks out or something.) I have heard conflicting views on this -- on the one hand, that my husband will owe child support if DNA test prove he's the dad; on the other -- now, this one sounds ridiculous but I heard it from another dad trying to get custody -- that he can go after her (the mom) for pain and suffering because she cut him off from his child.

As for me, of course I am concerned for my own two kids. He is their dad and he works to support us. I don't feel like sharing him with someone else. Is there anything we can do in advance to protect ourselves from some claim from this woman?

 
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Old 11-24-2003, 08:40 AM   #2
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Re: Possible Dad cut off; can he ever be financially liable?

If you haven't seen or heard from her in 10 years, I'd try not to stress over it. If she does suddenly turn up, then I'd worry about it and get a lawyer. I doubt she'd be able to demand money without DNA proof that he's the dad. Even if he is the Dad, the courts will have to decide how much support he'll need to pay, and how much back support. I've heard of the pain and suffering argument from both sides, but you may have a hard time proving that. He hasn't seen the ex in 10 years, and it doesn't sound like he's been been actively trying to find his child, whether the child is his or not.

 
Old 11-24-2003, 11:00 AM   #3
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Re: Possible Dad cut off; can he ever be financially liable?

He would have to have signed his rights away when the baby was born to have an iron-clad defense. Without that you guys left yourself "open" to anything, really in this day and age.

As far as the pain and suffering well he did not put forth effort to get visitation, DNA test, or whatever was necessary to get his child into his life so I don't think they will buy any pain and suffering story.

If it has been 10 years I wouldn't worry and if she does something all you can do is hire a darn good lawyer.
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Old 11-24-2003, 05:39 PM   #4
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Re: Possible Dad cut off; can he ever be financially liable?

There have been cases where men who were not the biological father have been forced to pay child support. Strange but true. However, after 10 years of no contact, I doubt this would happen.

But, if DNA can prove him the father, then he indeed will have to pay should they come looking for him, though I don't know if back support would be ordered. Unless your husband comes into a lot of money and the woman hears about it, I doubt she will bother you. But if it happens and the child is indeed your husbands, he would have a legal and moral obligation to help out.

Your best bet would be to see a lawyer who is familiar with the child support laws in your state.

 
Old 11-25-2003, 08:27 AM   #5
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Re: Possible Dad cut off; can he ever be financially liable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnetic
There have been cases where men who were not the biological father have been forced to pay child support. Strange but true.
Even after DNA proves him not to be the daddy?

 
Old 11-26-2003, 07:51 AM   #6
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Re: Possible Dad cut off; can he ever be financially liable?

Here's how it is in New York; other states may have different laws.
If she files through the court for support, and he is proven to be the father, the support will retroactive from the day she filed the petition.
A man who is not the father could owe support, but only for the amount of time he is married to the mother.
I've never heard of anything about pain and suffering. I could see that possibly happening in a rape situation, but I've never heard of it.

 
Old 11-26-2003, 08:02 AM   #7
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Re: Possible Dad cut off; can he ever be financially liable?

Thank you. I know I have to check with an attorney to be sure but it's a relief to know that back pay would be from the day she filed, NOT from the baby's birth. It wouldn't make sense if it was from the baby's birth because she completely cut him off and declared another man to be the father. For all I know the other guy signed one of those papers (they have in PA) certifying that he was the father.

 
Old 11-26-2003, 08:46 AM   #8
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Re: Possible Dad cut off; can he ever be financially liable?

Try a google search on Pennsylvania child support law.

 
Old 11-26-2003, 09:15 AM   #9
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Re: Possible Dad cut off; can he ever be financially liable?

I know that in the state of Florida, if the father hasn't paid anything from the time the child was born, he has to pay back child support from that day up until the current date! BUT, for legal reasons, they will administer a DNA test before they go after someone. My daughter is 7 and her father hasn't ever paid anything, nor has he seen her in 5 1/2 years and he currently owes me about $60,000.00 from back child support alone - which I'm sure that I'll never see!

I have heard of non-biological fathers having to pay support, but that's only if the "father" has been married to the mother for some time, has been financially and emotionally supporting the child/ren, and the child/ren know him as "daddy".

 
Old 11-26-2003, 09:49 AM   #10
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Re: Possible Dad cut off; can he ever be financially liable?

Here's my two cents...

If this woman comes back into your lives claiming that this is your husband's son, get a test done. It is our naturall instinct to protect ourselves and families. However, if this child is your husband's, you should welcome him/her with open arms. We have a vast amount of love to give to other people. Don't be threatened by this child not being biologically yours, he/she biologically his and should mean something to your husband and your children (a half sibling).

I know it's not that easy but in the long run, everyone will be happy that the connection is there. It's not about how you feel, it's about the relationship your husband and his child have. Why is it so difficult for us to accept people? If it's a money thing and this child is your husband's, he should want to help support him/her. This child is a part of your family.

That's if they show up in your lives again and if the test proves that the child is your husbands. I grew up with a dead beat dad. He was wealthy, physically and emotionally unavailable to his 3 children. His wife just passed away and he is alone now. And although he deserves to be alone, I have enough room in my heart to at least call him and say hello. I am sure you can find the love in your heart to do the same for a 10 year old child who is at no fault for this predictament.

 
Old 11-26-2003, 10:03 AM   #11
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Re: Possible Dad cut off; can he ever be financially liable?

It would be nice for my children to meet their half-sibling if he or she is indeed related.

However, we are struggling financially ourselves and I don't think it is fair that she (the mom) can cut my husband off, then just re-appear one day after he already had to forget her and move on with his life.

I am not too worried because in PA there is a paternity paper, legally binding, that fathers voluntarily sign at a birth. I would guess that this woman made her chosen partner sign this, as my husband signed it for our two children. I forgot about that when I first posted on here.

 
Old 11-27-2003, 05:30 PM   #12
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Re: Possible Dad cut off; can he ever be financially liable?

My brother was in a situation eerily similar to yours 2 years ago. He lives in Buck Co. and his ex got pregnant and told him he was the father, which naturally he assumed. A few months later they broke up and she says no he's not the father. She then moved to a neighboring town, gave birth and had her bf (the supposed "other" dad) sign paternity papers. This hurt my brother but he figured ok, she cheated on him, the child isn't his...he moves on with his life and never looks back. Fast forward to 2001 when he gets a call from her saying the child is his and she wants child support. See, her and her bf broke up and she wanted money. Sad thing is, once they went to court and established that my brother is indeed the father, they made him pay back child support from the date of the child's birth, even though another man signed paternity papers. He does have visitation and he and the child have grown rather close, but this woman took away my brother's right to be a father and still ended up winning in the end. His regular child support is a little under $500 a month, but they take out almost $300 a month in arrears. That's a lot to be slammed with.

As for the pain and suffering issue, I doubt highly that would hold up since your husband did nothing to find out if the child was really his or not.

 
Old 11-28-2003, 08:55 AM   #13
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Re: Possible Dad cut off; can he ever be financially liable?

That's terrible, Samantha Jane.

 
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