Paternaty suit (rant)

OK, I have a rant here. It’s long, so bear with me.

My sister was always a little screwed up. When she was 18 she got pregnant ON PURPOSE. She told the guy she was on the pill and she wasn’t. She wanted a baby and thought that the guy would just marry her (they had only been seeing each other a month or so). Instead, he told her to go get bent (basically) and bailed out. It may sound wrong, but I don’t blame him for it. He may not know it, but she did this ON PURPOSE- she wanted a baby. She didn’t care if he wanted one or not. She lied about being on the pill. She laughed about it at the time because she “tricked” him.

On my mothers advice, she did not file any paternaty stuff then- did not list him on the birth certificate. (I don’t know the whole scoop there). I guess it was pride- “he doesn’t want me, then I don’t need him OR his money” kind of thing. She cut him off completely and didn’t even call him when the baby was born.

She has kept in touch with his sister over the years on occasion and has given her pictures of my neice. Apparently in the last few years she has also mailed him pictures- no letter or anything- just pictures “So he doesn’t forget”.

Fast forward to today (11 years later). Out of the blue, she is filing a paternaty suit. She is angry that he now is married and has two other children (one a newborn) and does well for himself. She told me right out that it’s out of vengence that she wants him to now start paying child support. She sounded proud as punch at herself for doing this now.

The dillemma? First, we don’t even get along well- I’m just the only one in the family that doesn’t have a big mouth. I won’t tell everyone else in the clan about what’s going on, so she feels she can bounce ideas off me about it. My problem is, she was so WRONG about how the whole thing got started, she isn’t sorry at all, and she is going to SURPRISE this person with a paternity suit after 11 years of near silence.

By the way, she didn’t learn her lesson. She did the same exact act with her next boyfriend, got pregnant “on the pill”. Thought that was perfectly OK. Even advised me to do the same when my husband and I were talking about having kids and he was reluctant.

So I’m just looking for opinions. I am not going to tell her about how shitty I think this whole thing is, as I don’t want to make things worse between us. As much as I think this man has a responsibility to his child, she helped to cut him off in the first place. It just seems like one hell of an ambush to me.

Thanks for listening. :slight_smile:

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Turn quickly around and sprint for the nearest exit when this misguided soul seeks approval from you.

Zette: Wow, what a situation.

How much worse can things get? You’re sitting back, watching a member of your own family make other people’s lives Hell.

Why are things bad between you in the first place?

She obviously trusts you or she wouldn’t come to you. Is there a chance that hearing the truth from you would make her take a good long look at her own behavior?

Let’s look at this logically.
What can you do?

  1. Sit back and let her live her life.

  2. Go the sneaky way. Call the guy up and let him know about the paternity suit before it happens.

  3. Talk to your sister and try to convince her that what she’s doing is wrong.

What I would do:

Nmber one would never be an option. I would feel guilty for the rest of my life.

Number two is too passive-agressive for me. I hate doing stuff behind people’s backs.

Number three is the only way to go. She would either see the error of her ways or decide I was an idiot. Either way, I would know that I did what I could to change the situation. If my sister hated me for the rest of my life, oh well.

Good luck, Zette.

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, dogs are from Pluto.

I know she’s your sister, but I can only think of bad terms for her.

So he didn’t fall for her oops-I’m-accidentally-pregnant-so-you’d-better-marry-me trick, and she’s mad that he eventually married and had kids conceived of love instead of manipulation? Too bad for her, but sadly, too bad for your niece. To be used as a pawn rather that a cherished child breaks my heart.

I rather believe that she won’t win her suit. For eleven years she didn’t hit him with a suit, plus he’s not named on the birth certificate. True, she could get a DNA test, but she’d have to pay for it. And if his “side” knows about how she tricked him and that you knew about it, they could subpoena you to testify against her on a character basis. If it comes out in court that she tricked two men this way, he could probably get custody (if he wanted it). Also, the vengence factor could damage her case.

Had this been me at 18, I would’ve tried to see if I could surrender my parental rights. I know this can be done if a custodial parent remarries and the new spouse wants to adopt the child. But without another potential father, it might not’ve been possible.

I seriously have thought about calling this guy and just putting a bug in his ear so he isn’t at home one day, flipping through the mail and WHAM- a paternity suit?? Her lawyer has said that when a blood test confirms that he is the father, it’s just a matter of how much he’ll pay and when. Maybe its not that easy, but it sure sounds it. (we’re in NY)

We have never got along, even as kids. She is extremely selfish and used to delight in putting me down (a lot). She has stopped that now, only because I only see her a few days a year (she lives locally). I don’t think she confided in me because she wanted advice or anything else, she’s do whatever she wants regardless of what I think. I think she just wanted someone to spill her guts to and I happened to call to ask her to make a relish tray for Thanksgiving.

It just makes me sad and ashamed to know she could be so manipulative. Of course her daughter should be supported, but it seems like action should have been taken earlier. I don’t know, it’s just a shame that anyone could behave like that.

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Sorry, wrong on all counts. All of the above will be irrelevant in a paternity suit, the only relevant question will be if he is in fact the biological father of the child, which will be established through a DNA test if he denies it. Doesn’t matter if he’s not named on the birth certificate, or if it’s been eleven years, or if she tricked him to get pregnant.

Once paternity is established, questions of custody and support come up. There is virtually NO WAY that they will take custody away from a mother who has raised the child for eleven years and give it to a father who has had no contact with the child at all, not unless the mother were proven to be totally and completely unfit. And it’s doubtful that the father and his wife want the kid living with them anyway. He will be able to get reasonable visitation if he wants it.

As far as support is concerned, in most states, the factors you raise will also be irrelevant. The only relevant factors will be the father’s income, the mother’s income, and the needs of the child. The law requires that both biological parents support their offspring in a manner consistent with their own income. The law focuses on the needs and rights of the child, not on the “bad acts” of the parents.


Yes, your sister is manipulative and that’s not right, but one thing here: is that guy the father of her child or not?

If he’s not the father, he’s not responsible.

If that was his dick, he IS responsible for where he put it and what he did with it and that includes making babies. He wasn’t too concerned about being fooled and manipulated when he was on top of her.

Sex bears responsibility (no pun intended).

Now, if he really wanted to do the right thing, as soon as he gets served, he ought to file for custody of his child. (Then SHE could pay child support.) That would show her, wouldn’t it? :slight_smile:

your humble TubaDiva

I strongly disagree with AWB.

Whether the father is listed on the birth certificate or not is irrelevant. Paternity can be established.

The state generally orders the paternity (DNA)test, and it doesn’t cost the mother anything.

Custody would never, ever be automatically overturned and awarded to a father who has had no contact with the child regardless of the result of a DNA test or the conduct of the mother.

The courts today view paternity as a simple obligation to be strictly enforced. It’s possible that arrearages could also be awarded above and beyond the monthly child support award.

I have to say that I personally view your sister’s actions as entirely despicable. (The first guy’s response (“get bent”) wasn’t too praiseworthy, either.) But, if you have a shred of honesty and human decency, you must provide what information you have to the court.

If you don’t, you will be playing an active part in destroying the lives of several other people.

Your sister is beneath contempt. You need to demonstrate to her what an honorable course of action is. At the very least, contact the two men and let them know what’s coming so that they can obtain legal representation.

If she wins the paternity suit, then he will probably be granted visitation rights if he wanted. how would your sister feel about that?

Also, someday the child may want to know its father, and your sister is creating unnecessary hard feelings.

We live in an age that reads to much to be wise, and thinks too much to be beautiful–Oscar Wilde

Also, this will create bitterness between parents that the child will assume is their fault (child psych). Your sister should do whatever she can to make life better for the kid.

We live in an age that reads to much to be wise, and thinks too much to be beautiful–Oscar Wilde

Hmmm… hard one. I’ve always sort of thought there should be a way for a man caught in this situation to surrender his rights, and say “If she decides to have this child, I’m out of the picture.” If the woman decides at that point to have the child (and not put the baby up for adoption or (gasp!) abort it) she does so with the understanding that she’s doing it completely alone, and there will be no financial, emotional, or other support from the father.

'Course, this will never happen, as there’s so many out there who like using the threat of “you’ll have to support a baby for 18 years!” as a deterent to premarital sex, not to mention all the issues surrounding abortion. God forbid that a woman choose to abort simply because the father says that he was honestly tricked, he talked with her about birth control and she lied to him about being on the pill.

I think the whole thing just sucks, but as Melin said- the courts don’t care if she tricked them or not- if his sperm created a baby, that’s that.

I agree that what my sister did was dispicable, and I wish she never even told me this info. She is so goddamned selfish, I just don’t know what to think. I will try to get her to understand that what she’s doing could really hurt people, but I guess you would have to know her to see where I’m coming from. She never cares what I think, and she REALLY never cares if people disagree with her. In her mind, she is the “scorned” woman here. Just plain sick.

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Just one person’s opinion:

Your sister might have lied to the man, but he was still having unprotected sex with her.

He will have to live with the legal and moral consequences.

the morale of the story: use a condom.

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

Facts: She’s 29. She’s tricked two men into conceiving children. She vengefully going after the first for support after 11 years. (What about the second one?)

Opinion: Her daughter probably needs the support, but Zette’s sister doesn’t need any affirmation that this way of life is right to any degree. Granted, other posters were right that it was his penis that ultimately brought this about, and so he is responsible, barring any court-approved surrender of parental rights on his part.

Speculation: What if he’d remained unmarried, unsuccessful, and/or not fathered any more children? Would she still seek support? I’d say not. She’s only doing this to hurt him, not help the child. If she truly was doing this for her daughter to any degree, she’d have done it right away.

Second speculation: Was he 18 too? 'Cause if he was under 18, she would be guilty of statutory rape. The statute of limitations would be past, but if it came out that she’d tricked a minor into fathering a child, that would be a new ballgame.

Tangent: a friend’s fiance (now husband) had a child from an old girlfriend (he wasn’t tricked; they were actually trying). After they broke up, he didn’t support nor have any custody of his son. Before my friend and he got married, his ex-GF filed suit for support. They counter-sued for visitation. Well, they both “won”; the boy now visits every other weekend. He’s a sweet kid, but now both families’ lives are jumbled taking him from one house to the other, then returning him for school.

I do take exception to this:

I don’t believe by telling this man or not I will be playing an active roll in destroying anyones life. I have more then a shred of human decency (which is why this is so upsetting)

She is going to file suit- it’s already in progress, as far as I know. I also believe that the courts don’t care HOW a child is conceived (trickery, rape, love), a father is a father and he has to pay support. If I find out differently, though I will gladly tell the courts what I know. I don’t think being a total bitch exempts a father from paying support one way or the other. It’s just a heartbreaking situation and I needed to vent. Thanks for all the info, folks :slight_smile:

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What information? That she tricked him to get pregnant? The court doesn’t care, I assure you. They’ve heard it before. It doesn’t matter how the kid got here; once she’s here she’s entitled to be supported by both parents. None of the things which have been mentioned here are relevant in a paternity or support suit, and some would be only marginally relevant in a custody/visitation matter.

Nah, it’ll never happen because it is the right of the innocent child to be supported which is at issue, not any rights of anyone else. We had this debate in Great Debates several months ago. IMHO the bottom line is that if you are grown up enough to engage in sex, you’re grown up enough to accept responsibility for your actions, and that virtually ALWAYS includes the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy, at least between healthy people with all the plumbing intact and functional.

Stop focusing on the actions of the parents and focus on the needs and rights of the innocent child.


One more opinion: if she does win her suit, what message is her daughter going to get from this? I’m scared that she already has warped values from her mother.

Hot topic! < g >

Nope. There’s a fifteen year old boy in California who’s been adjudged liable for the support of the child he conceived with his thirty-something teacher, even though the teacher was busted for statutory rape. And unless, in this case, the guy was under 16 at the time, it wouldn’t even be considered statutory rape (in most states).

My, aren’t we omniscient? What do you know about this woman’s financial situation? What do you know about what plans she might have for her daughter? And frankly, it’s irrelevant. She’s been paying the full freight for the last eleven years; it’s time for him to pay something, too. The girl is entitled to whatever that money can buy her, whether it’s a basic necessity such as food and clothing and medical care, or a little luxury such as piano lessons or the freedom to go to a movie once in a while and not worry about how to pay for it.

Again, people, stop focusing on the parents and focus on the kid. That’s what the law does, and that’s the one person who truly has no control over the situation, nor bears any responsibility for how she came into this world.


That people need to live up to their responsibilities?


Zette, yer sister is truly warped. I feel most for your niece. If this goes to court, she’s going to be right in the middle of a war, at an emotionally vulnerable age. I guess the best you could do is be there for her. Sound like she’s gonna need it, not to mention being already trapped in the warp factor of her mother.