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Possible Legal Recourse - Biological Father?

Discussion in 'Paternity Law & DNA Tests' started by Michael G, May 27, 2021.

  1. Michael G

    Michael G Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    Greetings

    Without getting into the philosophical or emotional aspects of this case, I'll try to lay out the facts.

    Posing my question first, would this person (supposed daughter) have any legal recourse and/or rights to finances of any kind from me? In other words, is there any chance I'm going to end up court with possible financial judgments against me?

    ---

    I'll be 61 this summer. Never married (several 'almosts') and, until recently and to the best of my knowledge, I had no children.

    I received a call/email from a woman (now 36, I'll call her Beth, state of Virginia) who claims my sister showed up on her Ancestry.com DNA results report. She first contacted my brother. After ruling out him as her possible biological father, she contacted me.

    Beth's mother and I were in the same area at the time of her daughter's conception (we were both in the navy at the time).

    Though I don't remember Beth's mother, it is possible we ended up together at some point. So, as far as conception dates go, it's possible.

    Beth's mother has always (and continues) to claim that her husband is/was (he's now deceased) her biological father. But Beth doesn't fully believe this because of her DNA report. My brother's daughter just had her DNA test done (again, Ancestry.com), and Beth showed up in hers as "1st or 2nd Cousin."

    Along this line, if I were the biological father, Beth's mother has never tried to get in touch with me...then or now.

    So, Beth and I have been communicating for about a month now. She would like me to take a DNA test to confirm or deny her suspicions. I'm not opposed to a DNA test (though I am from some company online). But I'm concerned about potential legal (especially financial) issues.

    From my searches online, I couldn't quite find a case similar to this one (though I'm sure they're out there).

    I've kept my responses to Beth rather peripheral, not getting too personal with her. After all, I may not be the father. So, I've avoided certain questions or conversations.

    So, again, the question "are there any legal grounds for Beth to seek financial compensation of any kind?"

    I work with technology, so I guess I have a somewhat paranoid perspective when it comes to anything online. The thought that this is a scam has crossed my mind several times. How? I'm not quite sure of the specifics of this.

    If it turns out that I am her biological father, then I am fine with that. I would welcome it. I suppose I could just ask her what her intentions are, but whatever response I get could just be a lie.

    So, any help anyone could provide would be appreciated.

    And thank you for your time.

    Michael
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I'll answer your question but I'll preface it with this:

    Are you an idiot? You may have a daughter, a potential blessing, and you are worried about your finances. That's cold. smh.

    Go take the DNA test and if it turns out that she is your bio daughter, embrace her and stop kvetching about your money.

    As to your question, no, I don't think she would have grounds to seek financial compensation from you but you are welcome to go pay a lawyer and make sure.
     
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  3. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Wow
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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  5. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    I'm gonna guess him.
     
  6. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Him - my post was simply a greatly distilled version of yours ;)
     
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  7. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Beth's mother could have pursued child support while Beth was growing up. But now, with Beth at age 36, it's much too late for that. In some states, should Beth end up disabled and unable to care for herself her legal parents would have an obligation to support her. However, it appears that is not the case in NY state; once a child is 21 her parents' obligations to support her end even if the child is disabled. There is a bill introduced in the NY Assembly that would obligate parents to support a developmentally disabled child until age 26, but that bill has not passed and in any event wouldn't apply to Beth who is 36. Moreover, you are not her legal parent. Even if the DNA test proves you to be her biological parent, you are not her legal parent until such time as a paternity action is filed in court and a judge determines you to be the legal parent. Doing that would displace whoever is her legal father now (if there is one) as her father.

    In short, I don't see her having any good claim to come after you for money. But if you are concerned about that, see a NY family law attorney to make sure where you stand.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2021
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  8. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. I see nothing wrong with being concerned about what potential financial impact this might have. In my view, that's a perfectly valid question to ask. It makes sense to be prepared for whatever impact this might have. In my view that certainly does not make him an idiot; rather, that's a smart thing to at least consider. Nor does it make him cold. You are, though, entitled to your opinion on it, of course, my contrary views notwithstanding.
     
  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    This (a licensed attorney in NY state, among several other US states) lawyer agrees with your assessment, mate.

    The OP's "alleged" issue have no claim of one penny of his assets or other holdings, unless he dies INTESTATE, then many "relatives" MIGHT stand to take a share of his wealth!

    The antidote to GREED amongst purloining relations is create a valid WILL or TRUST, perhaps, BOTH.
     
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  10. Michael G

    Michael G Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you all for your responses. Yes, even the negative ones. I guess I should have bolded my first line: Without getting into the philosophical or emotional aspects of this case, I'll try to lay out the facts.
     
  11. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Your statement was not missed, rather, you don't seem to realize that your statement doesn't prevent others from answering in the manner that they wish.
     
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  12. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Were Beth's mother and her husband married at the time of conception and/or the time of birth? In what state was Beth conceived and born?

    The word "compensation" implies that she has suffered some sort of legal wrong, which obviously isn't the case - and especially not a legal wrong inflicted by you.

    If it turns out that Beth is your biological child, the most she might be entitled to would be a share of your estate if you die without a will (if you die with a will, then you could choose to leave her something or nothing). She is entitled to nothing from you while you are alive.

    Even if that manner is ignorant and rude (among other things).
     
  13. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Pot/kettle...etc ;)
     
  14. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    A general message to all who wish to read it.

    Unless you and any ALLEGED sibling (or other presumed blood relative) have done genetic testing, your purported relationship is simply what others have alleged.

    Any allegation made pursuant to a discovery on a genetic testing site has the significance attributed to what you've been told by others.

    With the advances made in regard to genetic testing I'm NOT puzzled why it isn't done routinely (as other medical testing is routinely done) after the birth of any baby.

    Society seems content to rely upon the oral assertions made solely by the birth mother as to WHAT male is purported to be the biological father.

    There are several TV programs that regularly DEBUNK oral allegations of paternity with scientific truths through genetic testing.
     
  15. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

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    From the way he talks, I don't think it's worth it for this woman to have him in her life because he doesn't sound very fatherly. At most he could do a DNA test so she knows biologically if he is the sperm donor or not but she already had a father. If anything she should know about any potential family medical history that could affect her if he is biologically her 'father.'
     

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