I needed some advice from you urgently.
I used to have a local female friend and we entered into a sexual relationship. Ours was not a boyfriend girlfriend type of relationship and we both agreed that what we have done sexually is a mutual affair. We have never questioned each other’s private lives then.
However, she got pregnant last year and told me I am the biological father. I only recounted once that we had unprotected sex and she was certain that I was the only one.
She intends to keep the baby although we shared the same thoughts that we will not get married at all and she will take it upon herself to take care of the baby and be a single mum.
However, she insisted that I pay her $3000/- to disclaim my liabilities of the child which I did.
My mistake then was not putting this into paper for her to sign and that it was a mutual agreement.
I did suspect that the child may not be mine at all but things turned sour over the money issue – which I told her was too much.
However eventually, I still paid her as I do not want any further problems and worst still, being an unreasonable woman she is, if she cried rape – what am I going to do?
She then gave birth somewhere in April this year and I paid a few visits to see the baby and that was about it as I still have my qualms as to whether the child belongs to me.
I understand from her that the child’s birth cert does not reflect a father’s name although I have never seen it before.
I got a rude shock today when I received a letter from the family court that she had filed a claim against me for the child’s maintenance and I need to attend court soon.
I sms her about this and she replied that the 3K was solely to compensate her. Her child deserves the maintenance and it was a right as stated by the law.
My question now is:-
– Does she has a right to claim maintenance against me as we never even get married to each other?
– If yes, do I have to right to ask her or the court to seek DNA on her own cost to prove iam the biological father before ordering me to pay any maintainence?
– the sum of 3k paid to her , is it of any help in my case to overturn her claims of maintenance as there was no black and white?
I can forsee a messy situation ahead and I do need your expert advice on these issues urgently.
Philip (not his real name)
As long as you are identified as the father of the child and despite the child having been conceived out of wedlock, you are still responsible for the maintenance of the child. Unless, you are able to show to the court that you are not the biological father of the child, you are required to pay maintenance of the child.
You may challenge that the child is not yours because the birth certificate does not show your name. You may further, proceed with DNA testing with the court’s permission. The usual practice is that if the DNA test shows that you are the father, you would have to pay for the cost. If the test shows that you are not the father, then the mother of the child should be responsible for the DNA test. Alternatively, the cost could be agreed before proceeding with the DNA test, such that each to pay half, of the cost for the DNA.
James (legal counsel)