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 AUTHOR
 Tealwood
Joined: 12/16/2008
Msg: 26
paying child support for non-biological childrenPage 2 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Non-biological parents can be ordered to pay child support here in Canada but certain conditions come into play and it also relates to the length of time the non-biological parent has taken on that role. The term applied is if they have 'stood in the place of a parent' financially and emotionally with zero support ever being court ordered from the biological parent and if the non-biological child is considered a child 'of the marriage'.

This means that she CANNOT ask the courts for another court order from another 'parent' for the same child.




Import...I will have to challenge you in these statements and will provide case law to support this. A single parent can request and have child support being received from the biological parent and in addition from a step parent under loco parentis. There is a plethora of case law in all provinces as this is federal legislation.

Now a step parent can require a biological parent first require and receive a child support agreement from the biological parent before they require a child support agreement from a step parent and this child support agreement may then be less than the table amount due to the parent already receiving cs from the first relationship....many lawyers do not like this as it is deemed a little aggressive...as lawyers for the most part do not like to go to court and instead like to have good working relationships with other lawyers....

Now if any one has case law where the step mother was required to pay child support I would love to read it as the only step mother I know of avoided cs obligation and she was either NB or NS. Step fathers can in a few years just by contributing to the family budget can be found liable...and spousal support is on top of that...

I paid spousal support when I had custody of the children...something I hated to do...but my lawyer and a second opinion felt it was better to take it than chance going to court and having to pay it plus my lawyer bill and her lawyer’s bill. The second lawyer a woman simply suggested family law was not about finding fairness but minimizing your losses.

Now an interesting case was NS Brudy v MacQuin 2010...where after a 4yr relationship....the parents split custody resulted in a set off calculation of child support and the existing child support of $600 paid by the biological father was split 50/50 even with the mother earning $75,000 and the step father $34,000 per year....so the step father has his income used to determine his contribution of required child support....offset against what the mothers child support would be.....so child support calculations after less than 5yrs when there was a already a court order where child support was being received.
 Blah_User_Name
Joined: 8/27/2011
Msg: 27
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 4/4/2012 4:04:47 PM
^^^ Well, if you are telling me that's the case, I can't argue, I can only go by my own experiences with this. I'm not a lawyer and so will have to accept that what you state is accurate although it's in direct conflict with my experiences of the NS/Canada regulations and the current child support order I have.

I am getting from your reply that the inaccuracy is regarding the double whammy and the ability to get Child Support from both the biological parent and the step-parent does exist which is in contrast to my belief ?.
 vanexec
Joined: 3/3/2012
Msg: 28
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 4/4/2012 4:05:48 PM
Thanks for posting Tealwood, I was pretty sure this was the case as well but didn't have any evidence (other than hearsay) to back up my position that a non-biological parent can be liable to pay support even when a biological parent is already paying. Additionally I'm pretty sure that even if a parent thought the child was theirs and it turned out t was not, child support would still be due, regardless of biological standing.
 packagedealx3
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 29
view profile
History
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 4/5/2012 2:11:05 AM
It's very hard to see the easy aspect of things when you are up in the middle of it, not so much when you are on the other side or on the outside. I have dealt with my own nightmares in this area but the easy answer is this girl is 12, quite easy to dispel the disowning crap her mother is spewing by um, not changing how you relate, visitation, etc.; words and actions. The court is not going to order support to the degree that he will not be able to support himself. Legally he will have to pay the support, if the people are on drugs, why isn't he seeking custody of this girl?

If he loves her and wants to support her then I don't see the problem and believe me, I know what it is to be the one dishing out the money every month, in the early years when I was scraping change together to buy my own kids diapers it pissed me off.

Bottom line, you got involved with someone who has a messy history and your choices are to suck it up and not allow the situation to suck the joy out of your life by biatching about something you cannot change and to get over yourself with the biological crap. This is his daughter and has been for 13 years, biology is immaterial.

You don't want to pay the support, you need to look at that, come to terms with it, and stop trying to make the issue about something else.
 Capitano_Blaugh
Joined: 3/18/2008
Msg: 30
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 4/6/2012 8:21:47 AM

I am getting from your reply that the inaccuracy is regarding the double whammy and the ability to get Child Support from both the biological parent and the step-parent does exist which is in contrast to my belief ?.


You are incorrect. I'm one who had to pay CS for a non-bio kid despite the bio-dad being very much involved and also paying CS to the mother.

It was simply a matter of me making more money than him. Granted, I only paid the amount that would top-up the amount to a level that I would pay if it was my bio-kid, but it was still a couple hundred $.

 Blah_User_Name
Joined: 8/27/2011
Msg: 31
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 4/6/2012 8:47:08 AM
I could have asked for child support for my oldest son from my ex husband - he is the biological father of my youngest.

When we emigrated here, we had decided to de-skill me in order for both children to have their mother at home with them. My immigration papers even have 'home maker' against an occupation. For almost a decade, he was the sole income, so of course, having brought all three of us here as dependents, and being the only income in the house, mine was a clear cut case for a non-biological parent paying support. The Judge even stated that 'just because it is no longer convenient for him to take on the role which he persuaded immigration authorities he would embrace, that does not mean he can opt to dismiss the child now'.

But, both my lawyer and the judge, asked one question first - Is there already a child support order for this child from his biological father ? There was not, nor has their ever been. My point is that the lawyer, and the judge even before looking at 'standing in the place of a parent' and all the other considerations for which makes this applicable, their very first dis qualifier was an existing court order.

Now it could been the case - and this is purely conjecture on my part and considering all comments on this thread - that had the biological father of my oldest been in this country, I would have had to pursue him first but having come here with my ex and both children, that's not an option (for many reasons) not just the difference in countries. A Canadian family court cannot apply a court order to someone in other country. But, if the bio father did live here, perhaps the general rule is to seek support there first. Then, because the laws are in part about making sure the children have the same standard of living after divorce which they had prior to divorce, maybe my ex might have had to 'top up' the child support amount for that one child. That's something, in the case of the OP, that a lawyer would be able to better advice on because those were not my circumstances and so not something that came into the equation.

Even if, the OP's case is completely different. In her case, her partner has been supporting a child in the belief it was the natural father. He has been duped into paying all along. The mother is now the one admitting that the daughter is not his. And the biological father's whereabouts is known. My understanding is this is referred to as 'parental fraud' as the mother was fully aware the man who was financially supporting the child was not the father.

Now that new information has come to light regarding the paternity of this child, the father should have every right to challenge his financial responsibility to the child. It's not like he 'knowingly stepped up as a parent' he was duped. Add to that the whereabouts of the biological father is known, he should be the first stop for child support - and he's darn lucky in the last 12 years someone else has taken on his financial commitments.

Also - in re-reading the OP, the non-biological father applied for divorce two weeks ago despite them being long time separated. He has been voluntarily supporting the child since the split of the relationship - there is no current court ordered support for him to pay for this little girl. Once the DNA tests come back and if they do indeed support the mother's claim that she is not his daughter, then he will be given the chance to explain all of this in court - and will be well within the time frame for challenging paternity which another poster mentioned being in place. This is not a situation where the courts have already applied a child support order against this man.

Bearing in mind that there is NOT a current child support order in effect which is being challenged and therefore a claim for child support for this little girl would be new, read this...
http://www.ottawadivorce.com/paternity-testing.htm
 Capitano_Blaugh
Joined: 3/18/2008
Msg: 32
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 4/6/2012 9:58:21 AM

My understanding is this is referred to as 'parental fraud' as the mother was fully aware the man who was financially supporting the child was not the father.


But, paternity fraud is legal. There is no recourse for this guy to be compensated for money given in this sort of fraud. And, there is no court that will go after the mother for anything.

The guy has acted as a father and provided, financially, for the kid. The court will not reverse this even if a DNA test proves that he is not the bio-dad. The courts will always go with what they deem to be in "the best interests of the child". They will deem that the best interests are that the guy in the OP keeps paying. That's what in loco parentis or estoppel, as cubanguy pointed out, is all about.

The case you pointed to is not the same. "Edward" had never provided for the kid in question, so DNA can be used to absolve him of any responsibility.

Cheers.

 SweetLilGTP
Joined: 10/22/2010
Msg: 33
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 4/7/2012 1:07:30 PM

I personally feel all children should be given DNA paternity tests at birth to avoid this kind of thing..........


I agree.

So much depends on the paternity, and they're at the hospital and scheduled in anyways...
 QueenBeeSweetness
Joined: 9/23/2011
Msg: 34
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 4/8/2012 4:49:33 AM
When the OP posted this story the first time, the Husband was well aware that the child was not his biologically, but still chose to forgive the affair, sign the birth certificate, & act as a father.
 QueenBeeSweetness
Joined: 9/23/2011
Msg: 35
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 4/8/2012 4:50:29 AM

You see, all this rage inducing bullshit, and people don't like the way I handled MY situation. I'd take death over raising another's child.



Does the man who is raising your kid know you feel that way?
 ben1731
Joined: 4/6/2012
Msg: 36
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 4/10/2012 4:07:57 AM
no one should be paying child support for someone else mess its up to the bilogical father to pay for that side of things and a lot of woman out there do take advantage of these things shame .
 SweetLilGTP
Joined: 10/22/2010
Msg: 37
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 4/11/2012 1:15:27 PM

Anyway, he doesn't know me. But apparently since he now has 2 of his own with her, his way of dealing with it, seems to be 'just have more of my own'.


Maybe making babies is all he knows how to do really?

It takes great skill and practice you know.
 femaleconnection
Joined: 8/12/2010
Msg: 38
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 4/25/2012 5:55:29 AM
Stories like these make me embarrased to be a woman...however here in Canada, where family law has not caught up with current times, the man will likely be court ordered to keep on paying. If I were a man living here I would never date a single parent that is for sure, and Id be tempted to get a vasectomy and freeze my sperm for later use. Seems to be the only way to protect yourself if you have a penis in Canada.

In regards to this child, if 'Dad' just carries on as usual in years to come the girl will recall with clarity, who fed her garbage tales and who took the high road. Taking the high road is difficult...I know as my ex tried to feed our son bs about me to our son. Here we are with my boy being 19...and he clearly recalls that I never put down his Dad...and clearly recalls the mean hurtfull lies his Dad told. Guess which parent he feels close enough to today to share his life with? Me. He knows anything he tells his Dad will be fodder for gossip...as that is exactly what his Dad showed him by his behaviour towards me.

If Dad continues to see/speak the child, then Mom saying Dad is trying to disown her becomes non relavent. Actions speak way louder than words.
 JoseMadre
Joined: 1/9/2012
Msg: 39
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 4/25/2012 3:57:02 PM
I guess I'm odd, but if I raised a child for 12 years I would not think twice about supporting her, regardless of paternity.
 Tealwood
Joined: 12/16/2008
Msg: 40
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 4/25/2012 7:02:14 PM

Hey Tealwood and Capitan...where's that case law to support the facts of paying child support for non-bio kids you both cited as truth?...Still waiting...I am most interested in the case law if you can qoute it...


Just so we are clear....are you looking for case law where it illustrates child support payments for children biologically not theirs or just where they get to double dip and collect from both the biological and the step parent?...and how many would you like to see before you acknowledge the truth?



Atkins v. Burgess, 2010

[1] In October 2007, Ms. Atkins and Mr. Burgess separated after a relationship of just over two years.

[2] Ms. Atkins brings a motion for temporary sole custody of her two children, Casandra Nicole Burgess, born August 12, 2006, aged three, and Khyana Atkins, born September 2, 2002, aged seven. Casandra is Mr. Burgess’ biological child. Khyana is not. Ms. Atkins also claims temporary child support for her two children and temporary spousal support.

[4] There are several issues before me:
1) Whether Mr. Burgess stood in loco parentis to Khyana and an order for temporary child support should be made in relation to her;
3) Whether I should make an order for temporary spousal support.

[5] Ms. Atkins has an order for child support for Khyana against Garren Brown, Khyana’s biological father, in the amount of $150.00 per month.

[28] I impute income to Mr. Burgess of $90,000.00. I order that, commencing November 1, 2009, Mr. Burgess pay temporary child support for the two children, Casandra and Khyana,

[35] I find that temporary spousal support is payable by Mr. Burgess


so 2 year relationship results in paying child support for both children...one who has already a child support order being followed through on...and spousal support....so he says divorce is not profitable?



DORIS BRADBURY,Applicant,— AND —IAN MUNDELL, 1993
step son now 15½ years old: Court found that husband owed support duty to boy but, in view of child’s age, length of relationship, and tax consequences of child support, court ordered monthly payments of $1,500 as long as child was in full-time school attendance, but for period not exceeding 5 years.



Zacharias v. Zacharias, 2011
Ms. Zacharias
Although she receives child support of $1,017.00 monthly for Trevor and Griffin from their biological father, she requires the respondent’s assistance to meet the boys’ needs.

There are many factors to be considered in determining whether a person stands in the place of a parent within the meaning of the Divorce Act. The Supreme Court of Canada has set out the following test:

Whether a person stands in the place of a parent must take into account all factors relevant to that determination, viewed objectively. What must be determined is the nature of the relationship....The court must determine the nature of the relationship by looking at a number of factors, among which is intention. Intention will not only be expressed formally. The court must also infer intention from actions, and take into consideration that even expressed intentions may sometimes change. The actual fact of forming a new family is a key factor in drawing an inference that the step-parent treats the child as a member of his or her family, i.e., a child of the marriage. The relevant factors in defining a parental relationship include, but are not limited to, whether the child participates in the extended family in the same way as would a biological child; whether the person provides financially for the child (depending on ability to pay); whether the person disciplines the child as a parent; whether the person represents to the child, the family, the world, either explicitly or implicitly, that he or she is responsible as a parent to the child; the nature or existence of the child’s relationship with the absent biological parent.[1]

2. What is the appropriate quantum of support?

[21] Having decided that Mr. Zacharias stood in the place of a parent to Trevor and Griffin, I must decide the appropriate quantum of support for him to pay on a temporary basis until the trial of this matter can take place.

[32] I order that temporary child support be retroactive to January 1, 2010. Accordingly, at the rate of $200 per month per child, arrears as at March 31, 2011 are fixed at $6,000.00. Such arrears are ordered to be paid at the rate of $300.00 per month commencing April 1, 2011, payable through the Family Responsibility Office.

[33] In addition, I order that Mr. Zacharias pay temporary child support for Trevor Goodfellow, born October 2, 2001 and Griffin Goodfellow, born July 18, 2003, in the amount of $200.00 per month per child commencing April 1, 2011 payable through the Family Responsibility Office.




There you are lizzie...established case law where child support for non biological children being required to be paid even if the biological parent was already paying.....
 40Golfer
Joined: 5/10/2011
Msg: 41
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 4/29/2012 6:38:42 AM
Men should not EVER have to pay for kids that are not theirs. It is called equality and men need to have the same rights as a woman in family court and right now they do not.
 Walts
Joined: 5/7/2005
Msg: 42
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 4/29/2012 12:24:49 PM

In Canada that is not the case.



Yes, I know all about what the law can do but, they have discretion in the matter and there is another avenue available to explore in terms of support; the biological father whose name and location is known.


Where ever you are getting your "advice" from OP, I would stop it. Get a real lawyer, cause, from what I KNOW, once a person lives/marries another, the children involved are legally his and hers. With that,comes the responsibilty afterwards if one of them decides to leave the relationship,common law or legally married. You maybe "able" to get the biological "father" to add a couple of bucks, but, I doubt it will actually happen.
 SweetLilGTP
Joined: 10/22/2010
Msg: 43
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 4/29/2012 3:05:09 PM

its not yr kid so why should u pay for a child that isnt yrs


Maybe because people having children in Canada these days do it like they do russian roulette.


om what I KNOW, once a person lives/marries another, the children involved are legally his and hers.


LAst I heard it was one year Walt.

You are most definitely correct though, paternal responsibilities shift.

Rights.....not as much.
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 44
view profile
History
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 5/4/2012 2:37:08 AM
if he feels the child is his in that he raised her and if the child thought he was the father, he needs to tell her he may not have been the birth father but is the adoptive father of sorts. the rest is up to law as to where you live treats child support. in many areas if you raised the child, s/he is considered yours. if the law will hold the "mom" accountable then it will do so, if not let it go. it is not even clear the child has a relationship with the birth parent. so s/he might just be treated as a sperm donor.

i had a slightly similar situation, since i have adopted two of three siblings because each time i tried to adopt the third, something else prevented us from doing so. i am open to doing it later in life, but he now is always "busy". so, i still treat him equally in my trust and he knows it.

as i did with him, just put simply to the child, exactly what the dad is or will be doing for her because he "loves" her. being loved is the key thing. the important thing is to obtain rights to seeing the child. also try to explain about transgender people who look on the outside opposite of what they are on the inside so that she will understand, be tolerant and not take it personally.

i had to take my kids due to their dad's schizophrenia. i simply said nowadays most kids have four parents, the birth ones and the adoptive ones or the birth parents new partners. i told my kids to see it as more parents is better than less and that in today's world, nothing is unusual, or at least where we live. also apologize that the child is being exposed to a bad situation in court and simply say he is doing the very best he is "allowed". if she asks about her mom, just say she is upset and hopefully anger will subside. do it objectively without finger pointing. that will calm the child and take her out of the middle.

you will have to be strong here. just think if you were the child how grateful you would be to all adults who care for her. yes, it takes a village these days.
 cariboolady1
Joined: 3/22/2012
Msg: 45
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 5/4/2012 12:29:30 PM
This same issue hit my son.
He got involved with a woman who already had a five month old baby girl. They were togther only for three months when she announced that they were pregnant. :0 !!!

But...they were so in love and we all fell in love with her baby girl. I had my concerns on this lasting but..hey...let's be optimistic. We did a sitdown and discussed the fact of a possible split and child support if it ever came to be. She felt and voiced very strongly at the time that it was NOT right to make my son pay child support for her own child if they ever split. She promised that she wouldn't go after him for child support for the little girl. Later she changed her mind....after the split.

I took her and her baby girl into my heart and was a happy grandma. My son was totally over the moon with being the "daddy" to this baby girl as the mother didn't want the real father to have anything to do with what she had now. She made sure he was out of the picture. My son and her planned on being married.

Her second pregancy resulted in another baby girl and we all thought we couldn't be happier. It was hard on my son and his lady with two girls being 14 1/2 months apart and it sorely tested their relationship. It broke at the two year watermark.
Wow...it was hard on all...especially the little ones. Only two years and it was done.

At first, when they split, my son took the girls every weekend. He adored both and they both adored him. The one that wasn't his DNA had ALWAYS thought of him as "Daddy". He and our side of the family spent many quality and quantity hours with both the girls and they adored us.

One day, a year later, the mother announces (she's in another relationship) that she wants the new man to be the daddy of her first daughter. She is going to cut off all ties with my son and his relationship with her. As she expressed it, "It's her right as he doesn't pay child support for her and therefore should not have "daddy" rights."
Our entire family was cut off. My son was paying child support for his blood daughter already so it wasn't that he was a deadbeat dad.
We were all devastated!!

Worse...was what that sweet little girl was going through emotionally... who was being forced to look at another man as a replacement for her beloved daddy. This went on for around six months and I visited her twice at daycare and I had never seen such a sorrier or sad face. It broke my heart and I cried many tears over this.
My son had to pick up his own bio daughter at day care every friday and had to see the elder little girl who would always ask "Can I come, too, Daddy?" "Are you still my daddy?"
He always told her he wanted to but couldn't until Mommy said he could. He always said that he was her daddy.

Finally the mother realized (through advice from others) what she had done to her little girl. She had a sitdown with my son and told him that the little girl always asked for him and cried for him. She refused to even consider the new BF as a daddy.
She asked if he wanted to take her again and resume being her daddy. Yes!!
Now everyone is happy...especially the darling little girl.

Just this week they came to an agreement. A week with one parent and a week with the other parent. There is to be no child support issues. I am skeptical. I am thinking down the road it will come up again.

In Canada, I found out that the step-father or even a boyfriend can be on the hook for child support if the mother chooses not to go after the biological father. This was what was shaping up to be in my son's case. He was only with her for two years and he was going to be paying full child support for her child from a previous relationship. As per all the lawyers he talked to about this.
I think this needs to be fixed. I think, regardless of what the mother wants, the biological father should be paying for child support...even if he's ducked out of all visiting rights or acknowledging his own DNA result.
 valleyfosh
Joined: 12/27/2011
Msg: 46
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 5/7/2012 3:07:13 AM
not true in canada if you take on the roll of being an acting father for a few years in canada then you will be responsable for child support even if you are not the true farher ,thats the deal in canada if you live with a women who has children then you become responsable for the mother along with her children upon a brake up common law ir married doesnt matter children become your responsability if you have been an acting parent with the mother . i feel there may not be any need to inform the child of the mothers living arangement after her devorce
 Blah_User_Name
Joined: 8/27/2011
Msg: 47
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 5/7/2012 3:37:05 AM
The only way to avoid the situation is if a legal document is written up (rather like a pre-nup but relating to children from previous relationships) or to not put yourself in the position where you are financially contributing to a child who is not yours during the relationship - Which I imagine is hard especially when the adults share a home.

Again, another great reason for people not to rush into a living arrangement where minor children are concerned.
 Silverhawk_tkn
Joined: 12/3/2010
Msg: 48
view profile
History
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 5/7/2012 7:21:23 AM

The only way to avoid the situation is if a legal document is written up (rather like a pre-nup but relating to children from previous relationships) or to not put yourself in the position where you are financially contributing to a child who is not yours during the relationship - Which I imagine is hard especially when the adults share a home.



Child Support cannot be written out of a pre-nup, even if it is non-bio children in the situation. Canadian courts will throw this out instantly in the "best interests of the child". If you co-habitate with someone who has kids, you are automatically considered a financial provider and then subject to the law.

Best thing to do is simply not live with your partner (and thats exactly what I do), until the kids are effectively 18 or finished their first degree in College or University. This is the ONLY way to ensure you will not get burned by this law........
 cariboolady1
Joined: 3/22/2012
Msg: 49
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 5/7/2012 9:09:57 AM
The thing that puzzles me the most in all of this is:
WHY does the mother have a RIGHT to say that she doesn't want child support from the BIO father and the court accepts that? And...goes after a non-bio man who was only there for two years for full child support?
In my son's case, the mother said that she was embarrassed that she had an affair with a married older man and didn't want her daughter to know this. She wanted her daughter to believe that my son was her real father.
The real father lives in a nice house, has a very good job and is widower now because his wife commited suicide when the affair was happening. His other children are grown.
Can a mother just arbitrarily decide that she doesn't want CS from the real father and go after the man she had a brief fling with?
I think something has to change because this can cause an outraged uprising.... like Canada never anticipated. It's bad enough that there is double-dipping and a mother can get around two grand a month for CS from multiple partners and the bio-dad, but it just keeps getting worse as relationships fall apart sooner these days. It's nothing nowadays to see a young single woman with three children from different fathers.

Is it ridiculous...that after two years my son was on the hook for CS because he was a decent boyfriend and provided for mother and child while involved? Because the mother didn't want CS from the bio-dad because her history was too sordid?
Is this what the family courts have come to in Canada?
 Blah_User_Name
Joined: 8/27/2011
Msg: 50
paying child support for non-biological children
Posted: 5/7/2012 9:32:45 AM

WHY does the mother have a RIGHT to say that she doesn't want child support from the BIO father and the court accepts that?


I have a court order for child support and have never seen a penny. It took me over a year with zero contribution to even get a court date and then, once I did, his wages were garnished and so he quit his job and apartment and has never been seen or heard of since. My court order came about as part of my divorce case as the law here ensures that the custody etc are dealt with during the divorce. In fact my entire divorce was dealt with by the family court system, as is everyone's in NS, when children are involved. There is no alternative. If it wasn't for the fact I wanted the divorce, I would not have bothered with the court order for child support, as this is exactly the reaction I was anticipating from him. As you can imagine, that piece of paper was rather expensive in terms of legal fees, filing costs, serving of documents and trying to track him down, proving to the judge that his whereabouts was unknown etc, in order for the divorce to eventually be finalized in his absence.

There are many reason women do not pursue the biological father of their children for support. Oftentimes, they are simply financially better off avoiding the court system and raising the children themselves rather then finance the legalities of going court costs to pursue someone who will never contribute. That's money which could have been spent on the child's needs. I can honestly say, if I wasn't married to the father, I too would have avoided the court system as I would have not required a divorce.

Other circumstances I can think of are if the father is unknown, if the father was abusive in some way and the mother has concerns about him having access to the child if she seeks support, if the father is in prison and therefore has no income to contribute, if the father is unemployed or works 'under the table', if the father has other children who a court order already exists for and therefore zero disposable income. If the father's whereabouts is not known.


Can a mother just arbitrarily decide that she doesn't want CS from the real father and go after the man she had a brief fling with?


No. The man she is pursuing has to have 'stood in the place of a father' i.e. voluntarily knowing that the bio father is not contributing, stepped up and taken on the responsibility of his own free will and established a pattern where he has willing financially contributed to the cost of raising that child.
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