Quote of the Day - American husbands are the best in the world; no other husbands are so generous to their wives, or can be so easily divorced.
In the second of an unplanned, two-part series on family law, MIPTC offers you "divorce vows."
That's right. If you're a Dad when you get divorced, you might want to consider this vow, recommended by the Florida Court of Appeals: "test now, or forever hold your peace," even if you think you are the father. It could end up costing you years of child support payments for a child you didn't father.
According to the Law.com article linked above, written by Carl Jones, Florida residents "Richard and Margaret Parker were married in June 1996, and Margaret gave birth to a child in June 1998. In December 2001, the couple agreed to a divorce settlement, obligating Richard to pay $1,200 per month in child support. Throughout the marriage, Margaret told Richard the child was his, and repeated that claim in front of the judge during the divorce proceedings.
Ouch. To add insult to injury, when Richard petitioned the Court to end his child support payments, the court denied his request as too late.
In fact, this vow appears to be of value not only in Florida, but also in Pennsylvania (subscription required). In that case, a father who waited eight years to seek a paternity test waited too long. The court there denied his request, too, in the case where the child is now nine.
Now when you get divorced, in addition to resolving issues over property, spousal support and bank accounts, you may want to consider including DNA tests for you and other family members.