Ruling alters alimony for divorced dads in Pa. paternity cases
Associated Press, By: PATRICK WALTERS, April 1, 2003, PHILADELPHIA, U.S.A.
more than five years after William Doran and his wife were divorced in 1995, he says, he began suspecting their son wasn't really his.
Because the 10-year-old didn't look or act like him, Doran asked his ex-wife, Pamela Smigiel, if they could conduct a paternity test. Those tests showed he was not the father and that the child belonged to a man Smigiel had an affair with, according to Luzerne County court records.
Now, the Superior Court has ruled Doran doesn't have to keep paying $400 a month in child support, a decision that alters the legal landscape in Pennsylvania paternity cases.
The case touches on an issue being dealt with by many other states. In the past, Pennsylvania courts have held that a man who acts as a child's father can be held financially responsible under a "presumption of paternity," even if it is later proved the child is not biologically his.
According to father's rights advocates, it had been difficult to get out of alimony payments involving a child who was raised in a marriage. That has been especially true in Pennsylvania, according to Carnell Smith, executive director of U.S. Citizens Against Paternity Fraud in Atlanta.
"Yes, the child is a victim, but the first victim in this whole charade here is the man," Smith said.
Under a law that went into effect in May in Georgia, for instance, if a man shows he never knew he wasn't the father, he can be eligible for relief from child support payments.
That law includes certain requirements for the man to be eligible. Among them, the man must not have adopted the child; the child must not have been conceived through artificial insemination; and the man can't have acknowledged paternity.
But in the Pennsylvania case, Smigiel's attorney, Gregory Skibitsky, said he thinks Doran suspected much earlier that the boy was not his, and that he should keep paying support. Last week's ruling does more to hurt the boy than to serve justice, Skibitsky said; he said his client hasn't decided if she will appeal.
"The court's primary focus should be what's in the best interest of the minor child," Skibitsky said Tuesday. "Our position is this decision potentially can have an adverse effect on what the primary focus of any custody action should be and that is what is in the best interest of the child."
Last week's ruling should translate into more protection for fathers in situations similar to Doran's, Smith said. He said states including Georgia, Alabama, Maryland and Ohio have laws that protect fathers from false claims of paternity, even if the man was married to the woman.
Smith said he was very surprised to hear about the Pennsylvania ruling and that he hoped it helped gain a groundswell of support for others.
Elliot B. Edley, the Wilkes-Barre-based attorney representing Doran, said he thinks the ruling won't overhaul Pennsylvania law, but will ensure fathers who are unjustly paying support will be kept from making unjust payments.
Doran, who estimates he paid $50,000 in child support and said the realization that the child was not his was very difficult, said he hopes that painful situations such as his can be avoided as much as possible.
"I still have feelings for him in my heart," he said of the boy, now 12. "I didn't know what to do with this - I just knew the truth had to come out."
UK National Survey
Scotland's National Newspaper
5,000 women polled
Half the women said that if they became pregnant by another man but wanted to stay with their partner, they would lie about the baby's real father.
Forty-two per cent would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, no matter the wishes of their partner.
Devotion and betrayal, marriage and divorce: how evolution shaped human love.
Associated Press, USA
June 1, 2004
South Korean husband successfully sues wife for Paternity Fraud and gets marriage annulled. Wins $42,380 in compensation Read More ..
Paternity Fraud Philippines
The Visayan Daily Star, Bacolod City, Philippines, BY CARLA GOMEZ, February 28, 2009
Bacolod Regional Trial Court Judge Ray Alan Drilon has annulled the marriage of a Negrense couple after a DNA test showed that the child borne by the wife was not the biological offspring of the husband who works abroad.
The family court judge ruled that the marriage of the couple, whose names are being withheld by the DAILY STAR on the request of the court, was null and void.
Due to fraud committed by the wife in getting her overseas worker husband to marry her, properties acquired during their marriage are awarded in favor of the husband, the judge said in his decision, a copy of which was furnished the DAILY STAR yesterday.
The judge also declared that since the overseas worker is not the biological, much less the legitimate father of the child of the woman, the Civil Registrar is ordered to change the surname of the child to the mother's maiden name and remove the name of the plaintiff as father of the child.
The complainant said he was working as an electronics engineer in the United Arab Emirates and on his return to the Philippines in 2001, his girlfriend of 10 years with whom he had sex, showed him a pregnancy test result showing that she was pregnant.
On receiving the news he was overjoyed and offered to marry her. Shortly after he went to Saudi Arabia to work, and his wife gave birth to a baby girl in the same year.
The birth of the child only five months after their marriage puzzled him but his wife told him that the baby was born prematurely, so he believed her, the husband said. Read More ..
The Daily Mail, UK
18th February 2009
An adulterous Spanish woman who conceived three children with her lover has been ordered to pay £177,000 in 'moral damages' to her husband.
The cuckolded man had believed that the three children were his until a DNA test eventually proved they were fathered by another man.
The husband, who along with the other man cannot be named for legal reasons to protect the children's identities, suspected his second wife may have been unfaithful in 2001.
BBC, U.K., September 25, 1998
Females 'stray to gather the best possible genes for their offspring'
Infidelity may be natural according to studies that show nine out of 10 mammals and birds that mate for life are unfaithful.
Experts found animals that fool around are only following the urges of biology.
New studies using genetic testing techniques show that even the most apparently devoted of partners often go in search of the sexual company of strangers.
Females stray to gather the best possible genes for their offspring, while males are driven to father as many and as often as possible.
"True monogamy actually is rare," said Stephen T Emlen, an expert on evolutionary behaviour at Cornell University.
Up to three million Britons may be wrong about who their real father is , experts claim. But using DNA paternity tests to discover the truth can cause its own problems.
BBC, U.K., May 16, 2003
Dad's got blue eyes, Baby brown...
When Tessa found out she was pregnant after fertility treatment, she felt a mix of delight and doubt.
This wasn't simply pre-baby nerves - she suspected that her husband might not be the father. For Tessa had started sleeping with a colleague when the stress of the ongoing treatment became too much.
Keen to build a family with her husband, she let him believe the baby was his. But her lover threatened to reveal all if she ended the affair, and Tessa soon fell pregnant again. This time, her lover started to make nuisance calls to her home.
Tessa had no choice but to tell her husband. "I said to him, 'I've had an affair and you may not be the father of my children.' So with that, he went up the stairs, got dressed and left. And that was it," Tessa says in Women Who Live a Lie, a programme for the BBC's Five Live Report.
THERE IS A story I used to find hilarious in my high school years about a not too bright man. He was light skinned, his wife was of similar hue, but their first child was born with very dark complexion (darker dan Bello, blacker dan Blakka).
When the man wondered aloud about the baby's complexion his wife assured him that the child was born dark because the child was conceived in darkness (they had sex with the lights off). The man accepted the explanation. Because he loved his wife dearly, he also ignored the fact that the child had other obvious signs of resemblance to the young dark skinned man who did their gardening. To fix the problem, the husband put flood lights, strobe lights, spotlights and forty other lights in the bed room so there would be no more darkness to create dark babies.
"Supporters of paternity identification bills point to a 1999 study by the American Association of Blood Banks that found that in 30 percent of 280,000 blood tests performed to determine paternity, the man tested was not the biological father." Read More ..
Volume of testing 310,490 for the 2001 study
The Supreme Court of Canada -
Cour suprÃªme du Canada
Father wins right to be named on birth registration forms. Read More ..
Michael Lautar was devastated when he learned his first wife was cheating on him, and then crushed to discover the then 5-year-old girl who called him "Daddy" wasn't really his daughter.
Next came the sucker punch.
Lautar is under court order to pay nearly $800 a month in child support and other expenses, despite the fact his ex-wife has admitted in Allegheny County court papers that Lautar is not the girl's father. The child was born during their marriage. After the couple divorced, the mother married the girl's biological father. The mother, the father and the daughter live together in Moon, according to papers filed in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.
"I'm stuck in this rip-off, this fraud," said Lautar, 40, of North Strabane. "It's paternity fraud, is what it is. ... And the state is enforcing this fraud." Read More ..
New Zealand Child Support Reform Network.
10 November 2004
Lack of free Family Court Ordered DNA Paternity testing abuses Dads and Kids.
"The Labour Government is abusing fathers and children by failing to legislate for free DNA testing to establish paternity", is how Jim Nicolle, spokesperson for the New Zealand Child Support Reform Network, responds to United Futures call for Family Court Ordered DNA paternity tests. Read More ..