When my wife of six years and I separatedin 1995, we still had joint obligations and she had an accident that put her on her back for three months. In light of all the ties that were left, we saw each other occasionally and even slept together once. BIG MISTAKE!
I took a job out of state and went about building a new life for myself. Two months later I received the phone call that would change my life. She was pregnant with her first child and yes, "it could only be YOUR child!" You already see where this is going, don't you? Back to the story: I just couldn't believe it, after six years of trying, we have that one more night and BOOM she's pregnant! It didn't add up. However, I decided that until I could figure out how to get some sort of legal help (is that an oxymoron?) I would face up to this obligation like a man and accept it. I moved back home shortly before she gave birth to the most beautiful baby in the world.
After about two weeks of hearing her own family's comments about the boy not resembling me, I told her flat out I knew all about about the man she spent four days locked in her room with the weekend I moved. It still has never occured to her just how big of a mouth her roommate has! She insisted it could only be my child, she was pregnant when she met the other guy. I offered right then to help out with the baby if she would legally declare the child to have a different father, since we both new that was the truth. She refused
Fast forward to family court, nine months after the birth. A court commisioner handed me a support order for $600 per month after hearing my ex's attorney say in a room full of strangers that I do nothing for this poor child ( he lived with me four days a week, I paid his health insurance, food and clothing) and that my wages should be immediately garnished because I could not be counted on to hold up my end of the bargain (again, he lived most of the time with me.)
The $600 took it's toll: first the phone was cut off. Then the $3000 retainer for a lawyer specializing in parentage cases took what was left: the house and soon, the car. It took a year to get the DNA testing done. She had a great lawyer who was expert at stalling. In the end, I was right all along, he was not my son. Now I know what you're thinking: "the kid's like a year and half old, weren't you attached to him?" Yes I was. I loved him VERY much. I love my two nephews as well, but it is up to their parents to support them, not me. I was presented with the most difficult decision of my life. I had to decide that if I wanted to be free of this obligation ( the ex, the money and all) that I would have to turn my back and never look over my shoulder. If I wanted to remain in his life, I would be considered his father and stuck with all of the support that goes with it, even though he is not my son. In the interest of my health (I had dropped 30 lbs...after starting out at 130lbs!) and my sanity (I was one strike away from being fired for "unprofessional" behavior after three years straight as manager of the year) I had to turn away.
In the end, I was awarded all of the support I had paid plus
the DNA expenses, some $9000 and change, but have never seen a
dime. There is no State agency for me to go to to garnish HER
wages, even with a court award. I think about the boy every day
and miss him greatly. I got to see him last Christmas and give
him the toy I bought for his first but never got to give to him.
After some hesitation, he walked over to me and said "Thank
you for trucks Daddy!" It broke my heart, but I hope it
burns hers for the rest of her life.