a mother has been ordered to pay back child support
A mother has been ordered by the Federal Circuit Court to pay her former husband $12,969 in child support after DNA tests confirmed he was not the father of her 14-year-old son.
The husband, who was not named to protect the identity of the child, said he took the boy for the test because his own mother had raised doubts about his parentage since his child was four-years-old, the Daily Telegraph reports.
The couple were married in 1984, and separated in January 2009. The father had no contact with the teen since then.
"For him, this has been an unfortunate situation not of his own making," Federal Magistrate Stephen Scarlett said in his ruling.
"In January 2009, the parties separated and the person whom the child thought was his father moved out of the matrimonial home. Less than a year and a half later, the child's father figure no longer has anything to do with him.
"Effectively, he is now without a father, through no fault of his own. From the child's point of view, his father (as he thought) has rejected him, for no apparent reason.
"The applicant's desire to find out the truth about the child's paternity will result in a financial benefit to him, at the expense of collateral damage to the child."
The couple divorced in 2010, but the father continued paying for the boy's overseas holidays, school fees and $700 a month in child support.
The mother must repay the child support as well as $4038 in court costs within 12 months.
If a person believes they are not the parent of a child, or if they don’t have proof of the parentage of the child, they can apply to the Family Courts for a declaration of parentage.
The court can order a DNA test to determine parentage of the child, and the results are viewed by the court as conclusive evidence of parentage for child support purposes. The court is then able to make an order to start or end a child support assessment.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.