Dad question how courts handle paternity

            Posted on June 7, 2015  

            Dad's question how courts handle paternity

Q. I went to Paris on a vacation; stopped into a local restaurant to eat a late dinner, chatted up the waitress, waited until closing time so we could go back to my hotel room, and the next morning – goodbye. Except, about a year later she tracked me down using my credit card info to tell me I was a daddy! Paternity testing proved she had the right guy.

The French court ordered me to pay child support. Is there any way she can come after me in Massachusetts to get that money?

D.T., Newtonville

A Yes. She needs to get a certified copy of the French court’s support order and a certified translation of the order into English. She then will seek enforcement of the French order by filing those documents in the local probate court.

The probate court will then be asked to and will enforce the child support order. The only question is: Will you become a real dad to see how your investment grows?


Q. I thought I was the dad of a 5-year old daughter (Jill) who lives with her mother (Mary). Mary and I never married. After Jill was born, Mary filed a paternity case. We never went to court because I started paying weekly child support.

I then spent an hour or two with Jill every day. As Jill got older, she stayed with me two nights each week and during alternate weekends.

Recently I paid for a paternity test kit. It showed I’m not Jill’s biological dad.

Can I stop paying child support and stop spending time with Jill?

B.Z., Pembroke

A If you went to court five years ago, you’d have been ordered to pay for a paternity test. If the test showed you were not the dad, you’d get your money back. And there’d be no child support order.

Instead, beyond paying child support, for the next 5 years you acted as if you were actually Jill’s dad. No doubt Jill calls you dad and thinks you are her father.

If you stop paying support, Mary will go ahead with that paternity case. There’ll be another paternity test. Even if this test shows you are not Jill’s biological father, the judge will find you are her psychological dad. And you’ll be ordered to pay child support.

If you love Jill, I suggest you talk with Mary. Then the two of you should file papers so you could adopt Jill and become her legal dad.

You may feel Mary tricked you and this whole thing stinks. In a sense yes. On the other hand, I’ll bet there is no one else in this world other than Jill who thinks you are smart, wise, good-looking, and that you’ve also got a great singing voice!