Re: Human faithfullness [was Re: Fwd: Lanier essay of 2001.12.04]

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Mon Dec 10 2001 - 10:55:24 MST

James Rogers wrote:
> On 12/9/01 5:16 AM, "Robert J. Bradbury" <> wrote:
> > If it isn't my genetic child then
> > I have no moral obligation to support it. (I'm unsure how the
> > "legal" situation works -- I suspect at a minimum the genetic
> > father would be required to pay child support.)
> There have been court cases where the "father" was ordered to pay child
> support despite DNA tests proving that he was not the father. The practical
> effect of this recent direction is that there is a statute of limitations on
> being a biological father as far as child support goes. If it takes you a
> few years to figure out that your wife has been sleeping around and the kids
> aren't yours, you can be held to be responsible for child support regardless
> and the biological father takes no responsibility. This doesn't seem right,
> but some courts have ruled this way.
> If you want to establish paternity in such a way that your responsibility
> can be based on DNA tests, it needs to be done shortly after the child is
> born to still be in the clear legally. Otherwise, for the purposes of child
> support payments, you may be considered the father simply because you
> assumed you were.

Yes. WHile this may vary from state to state, here in NH, paternity
tests can only have an impact on ones parental status if performed
within the first two years of the child's life. After that time, it is
assumed that the child has formed an emotional dependecy bond of sorts
(and hopefully vice versa for the father) that the state is generally
against breaking.

Now, even if the paternity tests occur after this point, if you wind up
breaking up or divorcing from the woman, you still have the option of
suing her for fraud and filing false documents if she claims later that
its not your kid. You can sue for repayment of all moneys paid to her
for child support, her share of maintenance of the common household,
child care expenses while cohabiting, as well as seeking punitive
damages for emotional distress.

If you are intent on establishing and maintaining full or partial
custody of the child, the threat of such a lawsuit is quite useful in
discouraging her against really prosecuting a claim that you are not the
father. Furthermore, if you are intent on keeping the child, do NOT,
under any circumstances, submit to a paternity test after the two year
period unless ordered by the judge. So far as the law is concerned, the
fact that your name is on the birth certificate is all you need to
establish that you are the father after that point. Even if you are not
biologically the father, the principle of not giving away any evidence
you don't have to holds here.

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