Canadian court rejects bid for child support from non-father

children and divorce

A Canadian woman has failed in her bid for child support from a man who is not the father of her son.

The Ontario couple had been married for three years by the time the boy was born in March 2009, the Vancouver Sun reports. Her husband, referred to as ‘PZ’ in the ruling, believed the boy, ‘D’. was his. The relationship broke down and the couple separated. A year later, when the boy was four, the truth emerged following a paternity test. The boy’s birth had been the result of the wife’s “dalliance” with another man.

A Justice in the Supreme Court of British Columbia noted that PZ had unsurprisingly been “crestfallen and felt upset and betrayed” at the news.

At the couple’s subsequent divorce, the wife did not apply for child support. Not long afterwards she and her son moved from Ontario to distant British Columbia on the west coast of Canada.

Eighteen months later, however, she suddenly made an application for support after all in the courts of British Columbia, arguing that PZ had acted as the boy’s father before their divorce.

But Supreme Court Justice Robin Baird was unconvinced, saying that while PZ had taken on a parental role, he had only done so on the basis of “a serious and fundamental misapprehension of fact”.

As a result it would not be “the least bit just, appropriate or fair” to make PZ pay for the child. The boy’s actual father bore “the primary responsibility to support D” but the mother had not provided any evidence of his identity or efforts made to locate him and “notify him of his lawful obligation to provide support for the child.” She had also not provided the Court with any evidence of her new partner’s resources.

The Judge noted:

“D would, of course, have considered the respondent to be his father, although they have now been estranged for longer than they lived together and his memories are bound to become vague and dim. I doubt it could truly be said, given D’s tender years and the brevity of the connection between them, that the child formed any durable expectations of the respondent.”

Photo of Victoria, British Columbia by Brandon Godfrey via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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Andrew - March 15, 2017 at 3:47pm

Read all about it:

What a horrible claim.

Cameron Paterson - March 15, 2017 at 4:50pm

Good spot Andrew. I’ve added a few lines from the judgement

JamesB - March 15, 2017 at 5:08pm

I may be wrong, and please correct me if I am, but if this case was in France she would have won as a child of the marriage is a child of the marriage. I have heard the French moaning about that being their most dodgy law.

JamesB - March 15, 2017 at 5:13pm

Quickest link I could find in a hurry. I think discussion was had on here before and Marilyn suggested people should not have access to the test. I think people aren’t so altruistic and should have the right to know. I would be interested on her view of this case and if it differs from her stance on the other post where she suggested the man should pay and if so why.

Andrew - March 15, 2017 at 5:46pm

In the “dear dead days beyond recall” before the CSA she would have had a claim here, and indeed if the deceived husband were abroad and CMEC could not act she still would. But she would have had very little chance; the court would have to consider whether he accepted responsibility knowing of the deceit.
I too find the idea that a man called upon to pay a large proportion of his income to support a child whose paternity he seriously disputes should not be allowed to insist on DNA absurd. There is no “hardship” to the child (or the mother) in not being supported by a man with no possible liability to do so.

JamesB - March 15, 2017 at 9:15pm

I agree with all of that, however, in France I think the point you make about “the court would have to consider whether he accepted responsibility knowing of the deceit.” being relevant, I am not so sure. I think if you are married in France and the woman has a baby, you have to pay support for the child until he or she is an adult, regardless.

JamesB - March 15, 2017 at 9:26pm

Of course, it doesn’t work the other way around. I can’t see a man claiming maintenance from a woman for child support for a child that was not theirs.

So, the female equivalent would be. Man drugging her, and impregnating her without her knowledge with another woman’s egg, not sure why anyone would do that anyway, perhaps if it were a supermodel, which brings in the other issue, its harder to donate eggs than sperm. So he would have to drug the supermodel also. The other alternative would be swapping babies like in the Omen film. The whole thing becomes highly unlikely.

Their is a thing about women having children with one man and then expecting another man to raise them which I find natural but strange and pushing their luck a bit, a bit like the tall dark and handsome thing.

JamesB - March 15, 2017 at 9:27pm

People do what they can get away with. In this case she didn’t get away with it and I am glad that she didn’t as paternity fraud is a cruel fraud and should be punished. If anything he should have got money from suing her.

JamesB - March 15, 2017 at 9:48pm

I suppose men would do it too if they thought that they could get away with it.

At a base level its trying to get the best genes for your children as possible, if you push it though you end up without a co parent as in this case. Sadly I have seen it close up where the new partner doesn’t have an interest in the children from previous relationships, too many times.

People should have children in stable committed relationships, that is what (rather than female entitlement) is what they should teach in the relationship classes (PGSHE project 8 classes etc.)

Perhaps people should have a license before they can have children and then paternity tests.

JamesB - March 15, 2017 at 9:52pm

The relationship classes at schools that is.

Also, the thing with separated and divorced parents finding it hard to find ‘new’ parents for their children and getting sad by it I have seen too many times. Simply put, it is not like in the movies, unless you cound the David Attenborough documentaries on lions killing the cubs after they take over the ‘Pride’, appropriately named perhaps.

JamesB - March 15, 2017 at 9:53pm

Count, not cound, that is if anyone got as far as reading that, I like to think they did :-), regards to all.

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