FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. - Sixteen months after his divorce, Richard Parker made a devastating discovery. A DNA test revealed that his 3-year-old son had been fathered by someone else.No, the court is saying something worse. The court is saying that the former husband was able to ensure biological ties, that that is plainly not true. The court is forcing financial ties to child with no biological ties.
Mr. Parker immediately filed a lawsuit claiming fraud by his apparently unfaithful ex-wife. He took his case all the way to the Florida Supreme Court.
Last week, the Florida justices ruled 7-0 against him. They said that Parker must continue to pay $1,200 a month in child support because he had missed the one-year postdivorce deadline for filing his lawsuit. His court-ordered payments would total more than $200,000 over 15 years to support another man's child.
"We find that the balance of policy considerations favors protecting the best interests of the child over protecting the interests of one parent defrauded by the other parent in the midst of a divorce proceeding," writes Justice Kenneth Bell for the court.
"We recognize that the former husband in this case may feel victimized," he writes. He then quotes a scholar to explain the ruling: "While some individuals are innocent victims of deceptive partners, adults are aware of the high incidence of infidelity and only they, not the children, are able to act to ensure that the biological ties they may deem essential are present."
In effect, the high court is saying it's partly Parker's fault for trusting his wife.
Friday, February 09, 2007
Paying for someone else's kid
The Christian Science Monitor reports: