Skip to comments.
Truth should prevail in paternity
OC Register ^
| June 5, 2003
| DIANNA THOMPSON and CARNELL SMITH
Posted on 06/06/2003 11:12:34 AM PDT by gubamyster
Edited on 04/14/2004 10:06:07 PM PDT by Jim Robinson.
Many find it astonishing that men are forced by court order to pay child support for other men's children. Yet in California, thousands of men are erroneously assigned paternity in default judgments and have been ordered by courts to pay child support for children whom DNA tests have proven aren't theirs. Men are not being properly served notice of paternity proceedings and have no idea they are "fathers" until the day their wages are garnished.
(Excerpt) Read more at 2.ocregister.com ...
TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: dna; genetics; mensrights; paternity
Women who do this sort of crap to men should rot in jail. Their children can be adopted out to loving families.
posted on 06/06/2003 11:23:42 AM PDT
What needs to be investigated is the issue of how process is being served. If these guys >are< getting served but just ignore it, or throw away mail that they don't recognize, well, that's what default judgments are for. If parties or process servers are defrauding the courts, or the courts are granting default judgments without proof of service, than the default judgments can be reversed without getting into the substance of the issue at all.
There are many good reasons why DNA tests should not be the be-all and end-all of proof of paternity and obligations of paternal support.
This is an important legal and emotional issue and needs to be addressed. However, not everyone fits into the same category and so across-the-board answer won't do for all families. What's the one answer to fit all needs? Haven't the foggiest!
I think one of the big problems is that state laws say that any issue (child) produced during the marriage is considered to be the child of the husband. No matter wh is the real father.
I ran up against this law in NY state years ago and I was shocked to say the least. It still stands.
There are many good reasons why DNA tests should not be the be-all and end-all of proof of paternity and obligations of paternal support.
Ok. Where's the list of reasons? And please confine it to items relevant to the issue at hand. Don't clutter it with references to situations where someone has acted as a father to a child for a significant period of time.
posted on 06/06/2003 11:48:19 AM PDT
What needs to be investigated is the issue of how process is being served...
I can tell you from personal experience that in California process is NOT being served. (not sure I've got my terms right, but I assume you get the idea.)
A few years ago I was named on state child support forms as the father of a child by a woman whom I had briefly dated. I don't care to go into all the details, but I could not have been the father. This gal was sleeping around, and I was the guy who had a few bucks that she thought she could get her hands on.
The *first* thing I knew about it was when my employer and I separately received garnishment notices.
I immediately went down to the state office and tried to discuss this with someone. To find out what rights I had, etc.
The case worker came out into the lobby and essentially treated me like a criminal who might be there to shoot her. She wouldn't tell me anything. Nothing at all.
The bottom line as far as she was concerned was that my employer had to comply with the garnishment order. Period. End of story.
This ultimately reached an acceptable conclusion -- but it wasn't because of the way the state currently deals with the issue. They assume whatever male is named by the woman on the forms *is* in fact the father. They offer no notice of rights or ready avenue for appeal or anything like that. It is an automatic default judgement. All the woman needs to do is fill out the forms, and the system takes it from there.
My impression is that the real goal of this is to minimize the number of single mothers who are collecting welfare payments from the state. Fair enough -- but this is *way* too heavy handed. There is no thought whatsoever given to what the truth is. They don't care.
To: The Other Harry
What avenue did you use to get this resolved? One idea I would have would be to sue the woman involved in Civil (not family) court for fraud in the exact amount owed, with added damages for pain and suffering.
To: The Other Harry
When the social services office just takes a woman at her word as to who is the father, that's not a default judgment, that's just a bureaucratic convenience, since 98% of the time it isn't going to be at issue.
That's not a "default judgment" per se. A default judgment only occurs when someone is named in a legal action and fails to appear.
Since the welfare office isn't a court of law, it doesn't serve papers before making decisions. At the same time, its decisions can be undone more simply, as well.
Court action to determine paternity is quite rare; indeed, it is often initiated by a man in just a circumstance, when the woman has already falsely named him on welfare papers.
With all due respect, the situation where someone has acted as a father to a child for a significant amount of time >are< the main reason why we don't want DNA tests to be the alpha and omega of paternity determinations.
Protecting both parents, and children, with regard to long-standing established family relationships is a very important value. Should women be able to steal away a man's children, denying him not only custody, but visitation or any involvement, because SHE cheated on him years back? Should a man, in a fit of pique because his wife was untrue years back, be entitled to abandon his children and put the cost of their support on the state? Should grandparents be subject to the indignity of blood tests and allow total strangers with a closer biological tie to take away their grandchildren when the mother and apparent father are killed in a car accident?
When there is no family relationship and the only grounds on which paternity can be asserted are biological, then, in that case, of course, DNA is determative.
>>What's the one answer to fit all needs?<<
It seems to me this is the answer. There is never any good reason why a man should be forced by law to pay for a child that is not his. Never. Furthermore women who try to fool the court in this manner NEED to be rotting in jail the second they get found out so that other women wont be tempted to waste the states already limited resources trying to get similar "benefits".
posted on 06/06/2003 7:07:04 PM PDT
Sounds like a bunch of rationalizing for the WOMAN lying.
Basically it comes down to one party. If a man raises a child as his own, knowingly, then that's another matter when it comes to child support. But the idea that it's going to be abused by men willing to dump their children on the state--well, who's abusing the system now? The men in these relationships aren't at fault, and DNA is the easiest way to establish blood ties.
All that mess about the grandparents, well it would be obvious that biology alone does not determine custody rights. But in terms of CHILD SUPPORT, I don't see why it should matter that some people may be hurt or inconvenienced. The truth is more important here.
Unless you want to be found guilty of knocking up some woman you never even slept with, and forced to pay for her bastard.
posted on 06/06/2003 7:20:10 PM PDT
Where's the list of reasons? And please confine it to items relevant to the issue at hand. Don't clutter it with references to situations where someone has acted as a father to a child for a significant period of time.
Part of the reason, has been the ABA fighting with extreme vigilance to oppose use of DNA tests to eliminate somone as the father. This viligance is strong that involves not just the local california bar, but also from the national level, with and including threats against democrats to withold campaign donations. (this is a big deal for them, to put it nicely, they don't fight for causes with this kind of use of force normally).
To soft sell this to the public, they have slanted it. Now it becomes, what if somone, knows that this is not there child and yet has raised them for 15 years, and decides to up and leave, then what? or What if the mans wife cheated, had a child, but the husband forgave her, he could use the child not being his as leverage till the child is 18. What if the mother is the victim of a rape, and 5 years later there is a divorce?
If you notice, its alot of populism slants, and mention of the real father is always very limited or non-existant. The reality is, is that the real father should pay, and also be obligated to back pay child support since they weren't there in the first place. In other cases, if the man knows this isn't his child, he should then either acknowledge or not what his future obligations should be.
posted on 06/06/2003 8:13:29 PM PDT
by Sonny M
("oderint dum metuant")
1percent: >>With all due respect, the situation where someone has acted as a father to a child for a significant amount of time >are< the main reason why we don't want DNA tests to be the alpha and omega of paternity determinations. <<
So you are suggesting that beacuse soemone was trusting and has been being duped for years then they ought to continue to be held responsible? For being made a sucker of?
1percent:>> Should women be able to steal away a man's children, denying him not only custody, but visitation or any involvement, because SHE cheated on him years back? <<
Well, does she expect him to foot the bills? If she expects child support she better expect that he gets visitation (provided he wants it.) On the other hand if he wants to continue to have parental rights such as custody/visitation he ought to expect to be held financially liable as well. In other words neither party should get to have their cake and eat it to. If he wants to cut all ties, custodial and financial he ought to have the right- it wasn't his kid, it wasn't his lie, it wasn't his fault. Had he been given all the information up front then he wouldn't be in this predicament now- but he wasn't so he ought not be made to pay for it. Nor should she be allowed to benefit from her sins against this man.
1percent:>> Should a man, in a fit of pique because his wife was untrue years back, be entitled to abandon his children and put the cost of their support on the state? <<
Yes ihe should be entitled to abandon them if those children are not his.He should not be forced to continue paying for a child that isnt his. If they are his children than yes he ought to be made to pay support and he ought to get custody and visitation rights as well.
Now as far as support being put on the state I also say no. I don' think women ought to be rewarded for spreading their legs to whomever comes along and then expecting Daddy Government to foot the bills when playing comes with a cost. When she gets herself knocked up by some random Joe she ought to catch his name. If she later needs the states help in getting this guy to pay up for the life he helped create then she would then have it to give. If it is her way to not bother with names then she ought to expect to be footing the bills alone, and maybe next time she'll more carefully think her birth control methods. Governemnt chooses this role because Marx laid it for them how doing such a thing would turn the heat up a little higher for us frogs on our downhill slide to socialism- and we, well enough of us anyways, blindly let them do it because it is "for the children."
Women (and I am one before someone goes and accuses me of being some chauvinist pig) ought to remember that in the end it is them who end up pregnant. We can scream all day and night about how unfair it is to have all the burden for birth control placed upon us but if we don't want to end up pregnant then it really is our responsibility to not end up that way. It's easy enough, avoiding pregnancy isn't rocket science. We are stupid if we trust other people to be watching out for us in that way. It is the very least a woman can do for herself because she is the only one who will definatley pay the cost in one way or the other, others MIGHT but she WILL- there is no way of avoiding that simple fact.
1percent:>> Should grandparents be subject to the indignity of blood tests and allow total strangers with a closer biological tie to take away their grandchildren when the mother and apparent father are killed in a car accident?<<
It certainly would be a Made-for-TV type-movie situation but yes. I'm not sure I see this happening though- I mean the real bio dad would have to know these children exist and are his and if that were the case then certainly a case for his neglect and abandonment (of the child/ren) could be made. I would certainly feel sorry for grandparents put in this situation but this is the "abortion in case of rape" situation- laws shouldn't be made on the slim chance this would happen. I guess what I am saying is that I don't see some guy opening a paper and seeing the headline "Couple Dies in Fiery Crash Leaving Two Children" is going to say "Hey I slept with that women x years ago. And wow that child of x-9months sure looks a lot like me." Could it happen- sure , is it likely- not really, and as a result grandparents ties are not likely to be in danger in the situation you pointed out. However, should a dad come to light somehow, then thems the brakes and heartbreaking as it may be- yea the grandparents are SOL.
You mentioned protecting children but then failed to ask any questions about how such a situation would efffect them. I guess I could say "whew- don't have to answer the hard questions" because certainly to crush a childs world like this would be horrible. But this is just another thing mom should have thought of before she sold "dad" her pack of lies. Responsible parents think in terms of "what would this do to my child if such a thing happened?" So she should have thought what would happen to this child if "dad" were to all of a sudden find out he wasn't and left. That child would be impacted financially- and that is mom's fault. The child wuld be impacted emotionally- and that is mom's fault. If she had done the responsible thing and had children by her husband (oh my gosh what a concept) she wouldn't be in this mess, she wouldn't be putting her children through this. Do I feel sorry for the child- absolutely- this one is going to need lots therapy. Am I willing to pay for that therapy- no, for the same reason I don't think the "dad" ought to pay- not my lie, not my fault.
Maybe instead of rewarding people when they do horrible things like have someones baby while they are married to someone else we ought to shame them. Maybe then these things wouldn't happen quite so much- or at least if they did the people doing them would know not to expect any rewards for doing them.
posted on 06/06/2003 8:16:36 PM PDT
To: Sonny M; only1percent
There are two distinct situations here. One is where a man has acted as a father. The other is where he has not.
The article that is the premise of the thread is about the latter. It is about men who have had summary judgements on paternity for the purposes of assigning support responsibilities. Why the rush to judgement on paternity? Responsibility cannot be enforced until the man in question is found, and once found, paternity can be established without error, thereby preventing exactly the sort of injustice described in the article.
In the case where a man has acted as a father, again there are two situations: one where he is aware the child is not his and one where he is not. Throughout history, men have served as father to children they were aware were not theirs, biologically. For these men, there is no question in my mind that the courts can justly assign financial responsibility.
Then there is the case of the man who has been duped and has acted as father. This is a tragedy of Greek proportions. I cannot imagine the heartache a man must feel in that situation. Legally, it is a case where the court must try to make the best of a bad situation.
posted on 06/07/2003 5:41:50 AM PDT
Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual
posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its
management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the
exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson