Jewish World Review Nov. 27 , 2002 / 22 Kislev, 5763
Why men should be able to sue women who lie about who's the daddy
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | On Friday, Nebraska's highest court ruled that a man whose ex-wife may have lied to him about being the father of their child cannot sue the woman for fraud and emotional distress. Why not?
IN ANY other realm of the law this would be a classic case of fraud. Robert Day had already been divorced from his wife for six years when he realized he was out of town when she conceived. A DNA test proved with 100 percent certainty that Adam wasn't his. Well Robert Day alleged that mom lied about her due date to fool him.
He had paid child support, medical expenses and even half of his wife's employment-related daycare costs after their divorce. She's since remarried. The court cited a number of psychological studies about the importance of parents bonding with children and held "In effect Robert is saying he's not my son. I want my money back" and that the lawsuit "Has the effect of saying I wish you'd never been born to a child."
No, it says "You lied to me, I want my money back," and the lawsuit has the effect of saying "I wish you hadn't lied and now hope you'll go after the real father for the money you snookered me from me." Look, these cases are difficult and different. If the result would be that the child would suddenly go hungry or lose his home, those special circumstances should matter, but that should be the exception.
The court's opinion focuses solely on public policy.
How is it good public policy to encourage a philandering
woman to lie? Why shouldn't she at least have to seek out
the real father to make him pay?
Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
11/26/02: Training lawyers to be touchy-feely