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What a Paternity Clusterf**k

childsupport-17908.jpgOne of our illustrious readers, Darcy, pointed me toward yet another WTF decision by a Canadian court (you think our court system is messed up? They just make shit up in Canada). It involves a father who learned that he was paying child support to twins he later found out weren’t his. Who was the father? Mom doesn’t know — she was too drugged up to remember who she was screwing at the time.

A Toronto man is on the hook to pay child support, notwithstanding a DNA test that proved he is not the biological father of his ex-wife’s twins, an Ontario Superior Court judge has ruled.
Madam Justice Katherine van Rensburg ordered Pasqualino Cornelio to continue paying child support to the 16-year-old twins - regardless of whether he was bamboozled by a philandering wife.
“While the failure of Anciolina Cornelio to disclose to her husband the fact that she had an extramarital affair - and that the twins might not be his biological children - may have been a moral wrong against Mr. Cornelio, it is a wrong that does not afford him a legal remedy to recover child support he has already paid, and that does not permit him to stop paying child support,” Judge van Rensburg said.
Mr. Cornelio began making support payments soon after he separated from his wife in 1998. He had the DNA test after his former spouse recently sought an increase in the payments and a reduction in his time with the twins. Upon learning that he was not the biological father, Mr. Cornelio claimed to be a victim of misrepresentation or fraud.
He asked to be excused from paying child support and demanded reimbursement of tens of thousands of dollars he has paid over the years.
Ms. Cornelio was unable to shed light on the mystery of the twins’ parentage. “Ms. Cornelio denies knowledge of who the twins’ biological father might be,” Judge van Rensburg said. “In fact, she claims to have no memory of an extramarital affair preceding their birth, which she attributes to the medication she was taking at the time.”

Darcy summed this one up pretty accurately, writing: “This will almost certainly be overturned on appeal so as to unfuck the lower court’s awful interpretation of the statute. Nevertheless, now that the mother has (conveniently) forgot that she had an extramarital affair, let alone who it was with, the kids are now fatherless and subject to national media coverage. Family law: where the only winners are lawyers.”

| Comments (11)


Actually, they do that here as well. The court can determine that you have acted as the child's father and therefore, even if the child is not yours biologically, you are still financially responsible (especially if you were married at the time of birth and/or conception)...and you NEVER get the money back. I was a five year veteran of Child Support Enforcement in two mid atlantic states, and trust me, even though it is totally unfair, this is how it is done.

Yup, it totally sucks. But if you think about it from the child's perspective (since child support is technically for the benefit of the child), it makes sense. Why should the child go without support because mom and dad are losers?

Unfortunately, if this guy has acted as the father figure for the past 16 years, he's stuck paying until the kid moves out of his mother's home or gets a full time job. The kid's needs take precedence.

I wonder if he could bring a civil suit against the mother and sue for damages?

Why not give the father custody then, he seems to be the responsible one. I don't get Manda's comment, why is the father a loser?

Come on! You must have seen it too! One of the best things I've ever read in one of those old saucy appellate opinions, "the State abhors a bastard".

It's unfair, but that's the law!

@ Bill W: The "loser" comment was a generalization, maybe the dad wasn't the loser but the mom was in that case. Although he technically was since he lost the case. If you do custody cases or work in the courthouse, it won't take long to see the parade of losers trying to get out of paying child support because the woman had an affair, or because people are gossiping that the child looks like some other dude, or some other sob story reason, and I just call all people in that sort of situation "losers". Another favorite cause of action: not paying support because custodial parent is not allowing visitation. Try explaining why that won't fly to an angry non-lawyer!

Ah, I still have yet to find anything as sexist as child support laws.

Thing is, the laws still have not caught up with the technology. Gossip and suspicion isn't legally accepted as evidence of an illegitimate child. DNA testing IS. They can't uphold this in one hand while tossing it out with the other.

If the kid is proven to not be his, then he should have the freedom to continue support or try to recoup his payments. And if he is going to be forced to pay for this child as his own, then he should have custody rights of equal value for compensation. If he is 'parent' enough to pay, he is 'parent' enough to have say in other parts of his life.

But until folks can change the law from enforcing this idea that only the man supports while only the woman cares for the child, more and more of this sort of thing is going to happen.

Ah, I still have yet to find anything as sexist as child support laws.

I hope you intended that to be ironic, Vermillion, because if you didn't you're a fucking idiot.

Use a Condom or Only Have ANAL SEX!

little known fact - sometimes (rarely, but sometimes) people get pregnant during anal sex. also, the hep. no one wins with the hep...