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Non-dad on hook for child support

Calgary Sun, Edmonton Sun, By TONY BLAIS, SUN MEDIA

EDMONTON -- An Edmonton judge has decided a divorced dad has to make child support payments, even though the child isn't his. Justin Sumner had an on-again-off-again relationship with the woman he eventually married, Dawn Sumner.

She already had a child from a previous relationship with a man named Rob Duncan, and as she and Justin broke up and reunited, Dawn was sexually involved with both men.

When she found she was pregnant, she called Justin, who recognized there was a possibility that Duncan was the father, but later concluded he was the dad.

When Rhylee was born, Justin was registered as her father, and the Sumners later wed the day before Rhylee's first birthday.

After the couple separated in 2003, and divorced in December 2004, Justin sought primary custody of the child.

However, after learning, via DNA tests, that Rhylee wasn't his, Justin sought to have support payments terminated.

In his decision, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Sterling Sanderman wrote Duncan avoided his obligations, and Dawn is prepared to relieve him from responsibility because Justin has Read More ..ney.

"Although she adopts a rather practical solution from her perspective, it is crass and opportunistic," said the judge, who accused all three of ignoring Rhylee's best interests.

Sanderman ruled Justin must keep paying support, because case law dictates that once a person has made a commitment to stand in the place of a parent, that person must continue to do so if capable.

But Sanderman ruled Justin's payments should be cut in half and Duncan should share the obligation.