When a Father Has to Pay Child Support For Children That Are Not His


Here is a Saturday morning question for you. What happens when a couple divorces and the father finds out he is not the biological father to a child. Should he be responsible for child support?

According to a recent 7–0 ruling by the Florida State Supreme Court, the answer is yes. They ruled that he father did not appeal the paternity in time so he is liable for child support to the tune of 200,000 dollars. Even if he is not the biological father.

Which raises and interesting question. Are the rights of mothers and children so much greater than fathers rights to not be lied to and decieved? Now I do not want children being left without support, but if the wife is going to lie and cheat on a husband is he obligated to be the responsible party? And is the precedent set that the minute a divorce is applied for will fathers immediately have to race and get paternity tests to prove who the father is?

“We find that the balance of policy considerations favors protecting the best interests of the child over protecting the interests of one parent defrauded by the other parent in the midst of a divorce proceeding,” writes Justice Kenneth Bell for the court.

“We recognize that the former husband in this case may feel victimized,” he writes. He then quotes a scholar to explain the ruling: “While some individuals are innocent victims of deceptive partners, adults are aware of the high incidence of infidelity and only they, not the children, are able to act to ensure that the biological ties they may deem essential are present.”
In effect, the high court is saying it’s partly Parker’s fault for trusting his wife.
The Parker case illustrates an increasingly contentious debate over the rights and responsibilities of divorced fathers who have been duped and don’t challenge paternity at or near the time of divorce. But it also raises fundamental questions about the nature of fatherhood and the legal responsibilities that can attach to a father-child relationship – even when that relationship is the result of fraud and deception by a wife and mother.  via  csmonitor.com.

Posted February 10, 2007 by
Child Welfare | 12 comments

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  • Comments

    12 Responses to “When a Father Has to Pay Child Support For Children That Are Not His”

    1. Mike on February 10th, 2007 11:42 am

      I have an idea how about the court make the real father pay child support…wow that was tough to think up.

      How can these so called justices sit back and think this is fair in any way? They know their wrong.

      This man is lucky because he will prevail because of the new law the enacted but what about decieved fathers in other states…a ruling like this sets a terrible precedence.

      The mother is using the child to get back at her husband for her infidelty amazing.

    2. NOT AS STUPID AS YOU THINK on February 10th, 2007 11:52 am

      Well Thats great — it’s sending the message that dna testing as to the paternity of the child needs to be done ROUTINELY — at the time of the birth. Thus, if the mother has cheated and is trying to fob off her child, it will come to LIGHT immediately.

      Hmmm…. that’s an interesting law that obviously will have to be passed.

      We are going down a very strange road with this~

    3. Patti on February 10th, 2007 11:56 am

      Sounds like the Florida Supreme Court needs to put some
      common sense back into the law. How can it be fair that
      a man has to pay a judgement that results from fraud and
      deceit? The rediculous rules of filing should hold less
      weight in determining the truth than the determination of
      fraud on the court.

      Granted, the children’s rights are the most important in
      the eye’s of the court. But does that mean that truth and
      justice comes secondary? I always thought the two went hand
      in hand. It is the responsibility of the court to exercise
      justice derived from the truth for the benefit of the
      children. The court needs to rethink its’ decision.

    4. MOLLY FROM LOUISIANA on February 10th, 2007 12:27 pm

      My neighbor in louisiana has to pay child support for a child that was proven not his. The Law in Louisiana is you pay if you were married to the lady at birth of the child.
      The Biological father is scott free to continue impregnating other married women. Just one of the stupid things that makes Louisiana the most corrupt state in the union.

    5. Ronnie2shues on February 10th, 2007 2:05 pm

      Many states have (or have had) a law on their books that presumed children born during a marriage were indeed fathered by the husband. Of course, those laws predate the readily availability of DNA testing. Likely, that is what the Fla Supreme Ct. relied upon (and is the law of Louisiana as #4 indicated).

      These laws were enacted in an era when it was believed that married women of child bearing age would not stray from their marital contract. The belief was that no lady would ever sully her reputation in such a way. Therefore, such laws were enacted as a matter of practicality.

      However, we know that human nature is what it is and that ‘good married women’ were often impregnated by one other than to whom they were married.

      To say Louisiana (or Florida, or Alabama, or ______ ) is corrupt because of such a law is utterly foolish and unthinking. Laws made by the state are enforced by the state until the citizens of that state demand change (or a court of jurisdiction overturns such a law). So, what have YOU accomplished to change this foolish law?

      A law that this man is subjected to is foolish and improper. It should be changed.

    6. david r on February 10th, 2007 2:51 pm

      Shouldn’t have married her.

    7. Ronnie2shues on February 10th, 2007 5:33 pm

      #6 — Although I agree, one seldom is exposed to the truth about thier mate until well after the ‘I Do” has been uttered.

    8. MOLLY FROM LOUISIANA on February 10th, 2007 7:26 pm

      #5 ronnie…….pull of your panties and walk doen the street so others can laugh at your idiocy.

    9. Mortella on February 11th, 2007 1:23 am

      Traditionally, children born to a marriage are assumed to be the financial responsibility of the marriage regardless of the biological facts. This has always been true, nothing new about it.

      Don’t kid yourselves that only children being born NOW are potentially from extra-maritial relations.

      Men must speak up at the time the child is born if there are questions as to parentage. What the mother may or may not have done is not the fault of the child who has nothing to do with it and no say over who does what.

      The purpose of child support is just that, support for children born of a particular marriage. And while it may be shocking to learn that one is not the father of a child born to a marriage, it still has nothing to do with whether or not that child should be cared for, have food, clothing, etc. Kids have to be fed no matter what their parents do.

      And sure, one could possibly track down the biological father but as we see with Anna Nicole Smith, maybe not. Better to attach financial responsibility within the marriage than go fishing. Plus how many men would welcome child support to all their own potential biological offspring?

      No matter what we are told these days, this is yet another reason to be in a monomogous relationship. We are told men are not biologically geared for that. Perhaps they need to change gears if they don’t want to support the chilren born of their marriages. Most family law works this way. If you don’t complain or speak out at the time, don’t later.

    10. Mike on February 11th, 2007 12:00 pm

      So Mortella was it this fathers fault for trusting his wife?

      I say the responsibilty to support this child is on her and the biological father…hopefully she can pin him down but who knows how much she sleeped around.

      BTW the jilted husband has offered to support the child and even says he still feels for the child but doesn’t want his exwife controlling the money…I say thats mighty big of him myself. Not many men would feel this way.

      The court should have ordered her to name the actual father and assign him the child support then as you say the child would get their support and the fair way also.

    11. txchic on February 11th, 2007 3:47 pm

      this is a dangerous path. a deceiving spouse can go undetected for decades. so will the state of florida now pay for mandatory dna testing done on every baby born in state?

      what about the rights of the birth father? maybe he didn’t know the cheater was married & wishes to have rights. what a tangled web the florida courts are spinning.

    12. jackie on February 13th, 2007 2:22 am

      I went through child support issues with my husband and his ex in Brevard county. The EX out and out lied to the court, when we found out we presented it to the court and they did nothing. She said the daughter was going to private school, I got a copy of registration from the public school she was going to and our attorney presented it to the court, they siad they would not recognize it. The issue was since the father was paying in excess of 50% of the childs support that he should get the tax deduction (per Florida’s law), the court said if he wanted to help with the private school he could have the tax deduction. We presented documentation for a rehearing before evrything was recorded based on the fact she had perjured herself. But the court said no rehearing even though she lied. Don’t have kids in Florida guys, or divorce in Florida.

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