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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    3

    Default Possible Liability

    My question involves paternity law for the State of: California

    20 years ago a young woman that I had a brief (1 month) relationship became pregnant. Upon further investigation, it was revealed that at least 2 other potential fathers existed. She initially thought I was the father, but then became convinced after the birth that one of the others was the father and listed him on the birth certificate. Several months later, she told me by phone that he was not the father but I had since moved out of town for work and based on her past history, deception, and lack of credibility, I told her I wanted nothing further to do with her and that was the last contact I had with her for 20 years.

    I then heard some years later from others that the guy had married her and they went on to have 2 other children together. I assumed that since he had married her that the child was his all along and I never pursued the matter further even though there was always some question since a paternity test was never performed. Fast forward 20 years and the child contacts me after her mother gives her my name and a successful internet search. I was skeptical until she provided a photo which was quite convincing. We have since met and I am 99% certain that she is my biological daughter even though no DNA testing has yet been performed. I do want to help her with college and other things as required.

    She has informed me that her mother divorced her first step-father and is currently married to her 2nd one who raised her through adolescence and her teen years. She does not have any relationship with the first one and a strained relationship with the current one. My question is since I never knew for sure and neither the mother, husband, or ex-husband ever attempted contact with me for support or visitation, do they have any legal basis to attempt to receive retroactive compensation for paid child support or any other damages?

    Both husbands knew full well that the child was not theirs when they entered into marriage with the mother legally adopting or assuming financial responsibility for the child. I find it improbable that I could be liable for anything since that would be like adopting a kid, having it not work out as planned, and then suing the biological parents for the costs incurred. Do I have anything to be concerned about here after all this time?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Possible Liability

    Not a darned thing.

    Just make sure you weren't declared the legal father by a default action.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Possible Liability

    Quote Quoting Dogmatique
    View Post
    Not a darned thing.

    Just make sure you weren't declared the legal father by a default action.
    Thanks, but how is that done and how would I determine if such action has taken place? Also, could any of these potential plaintiffs somehow make that declaration at this very late stage?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Possible Liability

    You haven't been hit with any child support orders, correct?

    No garnishments or anything of that nature?

    Then chances are the original father on the birth certificate is STILL the legal father. If that is the case, then neither he, Mom nor anyone else can make a successful challenge to that paternity. It's a done deal.

    I would advise you to tread carefully with the 20 year old though. If you're genuinely both curious, by all means get that paternity test done (it will have to be a home test since the court won't order one at this point) so you can both find out once and for all. She is a legal adult and thus doesn't need permission from anyone else.

    But don't push it. Be careful. For both your sakes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Possible Liability

    Quote Quoting Dogmatique
    View Post
    You haven't been hit with any child support orders, correct?

    No garnishments or anything of that nature?

    Then chances are the original father on the birth certificate is STILL the legal father. If that is the case, then neither he, Mom nor anyone else can make a successful challenge to that paternity. It's a done deal.

    I would advise you to tread carefully with the 20 year old though. If you're genuinely both curious, by all means get that paternity test done (it will have to be a home test since the court won't order one at this point) so you can both find out once and for all. She is a legal adult and thus doesn't need permission from anyone else.

    But don't push it. Be careful. For both your sakes.
    Nope, I was never contacted by any state agency, ordered to pay anything, or ever garnished in any way. We actually do not plan to ever get DNA testing done as it is pretty obvious without it. As long as no court will order it as part of a civil suit etc, it will never be "official" and we will just quietly carry on.

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