In a case that some in Maryland can likely relate to, a court has ordered that an Australia man be repaid approximately $13,000 in child support after a DNA test proved that he was not the father of his ex-wife's son. He secretly took a paternity test after his wife expressed doubt that he was the boy's father, reportedly claiming that the man and his supposed son did not resemble each other at all.
Following the couple's separation in 2009 and subsequent divorce in 2010, the man began providing funds to pay for the child's vacations and school fees, in addition to monthly child support payments of $700. However, upon the revelation that he was not the child's biological father, a court ordered that the woman pay back everything her former husband paid her in child support, totaling $12,969. Additionally, she must provide him with $4,038 in court costs. All payments must be made within 12 months.
The couple married in 1984 after living together for several years. The child, who was born in 1995, still reportedly believes the man is his biological father. Sources report that the boy was told why his father figure left the family household. The official presiding over the case said that the man's decision to undergo a paternity test benefited him financially, but caused "collateral damage to the child." Since the DNA tests, the man and the boy have had no contact.
These cases can be emotional for both a parent and a child. In this situation, the man believed the young boy was his son, and the boy thought the same. When a paternity test shows otherwise, everything can suddenly become confusing. The father may have felt wronged after having to pay child support, and the child may wonder why the man he knows to be his father is no longer in his life. While courts may have ruled differently in Maryland, this case clearly highlights the emotional issues that come with paternity and child support. Hopefully people in Maryland who are facing a similar situation can work out issues in a way that is least harmful to everyone involved.
Source: Herald Sun, "Ex-husband wins back child support," Padraic Murphy, Nov. 28, 2011