paternity mess


            Posted on Sep 3,2006   

            Paternity Mess

Q. Thirteen years ago, while living in North Carolina, I was dating a woman (Ruth) in what I thought was a monogamous relationship. Ruth claimed I got her pregnant. We moved in together. She had the baby (Vicki). Then, things went sour and I moved out. Ruth went to court and, since then, I've been paying child support.

I moved to Massachusetts about 10 years ago. Ruth made visitation difficult. I didn't have money to fight. So, I haven't seen Vicki for more than 9 years.

Now, I just learned I am not Vicki's biological father. So, I've been supporting some other guy's kid. Is there anything I can do to get off the hook?

B.B., Boston

A.    If this was a Massachusetts case and you acknowledged your paternity at the hospital when Vicki was born, you'd be stuck. That's because Vicki has come to regard you as her psychological father. But, since this all happened in North Carolina, that state has yet to rule on the question of men who get stuck paying child support under false pretenses. You may be able to get off the hook and sue the mother money you paid.