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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Unhappy Can Mother Consent to Release Biological Father of Obligation to Support

    My question involves child support in the State of Washington, where we lived. Or maybe Massachusetts; where the mom now lives.

    I recently got a call from my ex-girlfriend's former husband; who I didn't know existed. I did not know this, but apparently she was engaged and married during the course of our very serious two year relationship. She got pregnant in the last few weeks of our relationship. The husband, who had the marriage annulled when he found out his child wasn't his, tells me he's willing to testify that she told him she willfully got pregnant with me because she preferred my genes. I of course knew nothing about any of this. The child is now seven months old. She and the mom have until very recently been living with the husband in his house.

    I want absolutely nothing to do with this mess. The mother tells me she wants nothing from me; but is unwilling to put that in writing. I realize it's a long shot ("there are no exceptions" and all) but does anyone have any ideas? I've heard something about a denial of paternity standing uncontested for two years taking the effect of law. Assuming she's cooperative, is there anything the two of us can do, short of adoption, to limit my exposure to this? We're both very pro-choice, and had agreed there would be no children without mutual consent. She simply changed her mind, and never told me.

    I'm an economist (and, for what it's worth, she's a very talented ER physician). By my math, I owe her roughly $1 million; payable over the next eighteen years. That seems high; for having been unknowingly tricked into impregnating someone who wanted a child for her own reasons.


  2. #2

    Default Re: Can Mother Consent to Release Biological Father of Obligation to Support

    The controlling state law will be the state where the mother has established residency (typically where she's lived for the last 6 months).

    Never take another person's word for what happens when your sperm is unleashed. Ever. Courts don't recognize the concept of "trickery" in creating children - because there's only ONE fool-proof form of birth control. Choosing to have sex IS your form of consent to risk parentage - no matter what the other person has told you, promised you, or agreed with you, how many birth control pills they've taken or how many layers of condoms you use - there's ALWAYS a risk.

    There's nothing the mother CAN put in writing that relieves you - no matter how well it is written. She doesn't have any legal standing to give up rights on behalf of the CHILD - only can only choose not to PURSUE rights on behalf of the child (ie by not establishing you as the father). She may be perfectly willing to forget you ever existed (meaning you stay a legal stranger to the child), and if she's financially capable of caring for the child on her own and doesn't seek legal establishment of paternity, you're probably in the clear. However, if for whatever reasons (and there ARE several possibilities) she might choose to do so in the future, you're still at risk - although typically child support calculations don't start accruing until that petition is filed. So for example, 8 years go by and you hear nothing, then something happens and she decides to bring a paternity suit, you typically wouldn't owe for the last 8 years, only from the filing forward. So your exposure is limited in direct proportion to how little interest mom has in pursuing the matter.

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