Man needs to request paternity test


            Posted on Aug 10,2014      

            Man needs to request paternity test

Q.  I spent last summer, between my junior and senior year at college, waiting tables at a restaurant on Martha's Vineyard. Also working there was a young Bulgarian woman. Let's just say we had one hot summer.

I couldn't keep in touch after the summer because the contact information she provided didn't connect.

Now I'm back working in that restaurant where I was served with a complaint for paternity and a motion that I pay child support filed by you know who.

That complaint was the first time I heard she got pregnant and had a baby. That was surprising because I always used protection during intercourse.

What do you recommend I do?

N.O., Martha's Vineyard


A.        Hire an experienced family law lawyer who'll know what to do. That should be money well spent.

The first time you go to court, demand a paternity test. Initially, you pay for that test. If she and the baby don't show up in court, there can be no test. Then you might assume it wasn't your child or that there was, in fact, no child born. If she and baby are there, swabs will be used on the inside of everyone's mouth and sent to a laboratory for testing. 

If the test shows you are not the father, you'll get the fee refunded. If the test shows you are the father, your child support will be calculated by plugging your income and the mother's actual or deemed income into the current child support guidelines.

As dad, you cannot prevent an order of support from entering. But you might be able to get the order reduced. To do that, file a motion that you get parenting time with the child.  If the mother lives in Bulgaria with the child, ask the judge to find that your support should be reduced so you can pay for plane tickets to and from, and housing and food in Bulgaria two or three times a year in order to visit with your child. 

Also ask the judge to order the mother to bring the child to you each summer for 6 to 8 weeks of concentrated parenting time. That way you've got a better opportunity to actually help raise the child.

Being an involved dad when your child is young will pay off big time when the child is an adult.  That child will be an adult a long longer than the years in which you had to pay support. So look for rewards of parenting now and in the future.

If, however, that paternity test says you aren't the dad, thank yourself for being sure you used that protection.