Separation is a more difficult time endured by many couples, and along with that experience comes the associated dealings and feelings of resentment in relation to property settlements and child support.
An even further difficult scenario is when after the father has been paying significant amounts of child support for years, he raises the issue of the parentage of the child. The gamble he is taking by raising the issue is huge. It completely destroys any relationship that remained with the mother, and would alienate himself from the child, even if the child is later found to be his. The effect on a child finding out that his father didn’t feel as though he was really his father, would be significant.
The anger and feeling of betrayal felt by the father if the paternity test showed the child was not his would be high. The Child Support Assessment Act provides for recovery of money paid for child support where the payer is subsequently found to not be liable. Under this Act, it is at the discretion of the Court to make orders it considers ‘just and equitable’ giving consideration to the child as well as the parties involved.
The Family Law system does not provide any punishment or retribution to the deceiving party. It is the interest of the child that is paramount.
Providing the child is not disadvantaged, payments would be returned, however there would be no punishment handed down to the mother.
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This is intended for general information and does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Formal legal advice should be sought.