Possible negative paternity test....claiming back CSA

in Child Support
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pixiemerpixiemer Forumite
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Hello. I'm just looking for any advice if anyone has any. Long story short my OH has put in for paternity test with the CSA for his 11 year old. He never did the test at the time of the child being born because he was very young and just believed what he was told.after the one night stand. He never questioned it even though he was never in a relationship with the woman and she was 40+ at the time (I'm not saying she's lying but we know it's hard to get pregnant the older you are).

Anyway, now that we're looking at a family he's decided to get paternity test. He bowed out of the child's life when the child was still a baby due to her fella making.it very hard for him however he's always paid his maintenance via CSA. 

He's saying if the test is negative then he is owed all the money he's paid her. What I'm wondering is what is a likelihood of him being able to get that back. I know he will be able to claim back any payments made since he brought up the dispute but will he be able to claim back all 11 years of maintenance? Does anybody have any lawyers or solicitors they can recommend for if it goes that way.

And if it is positive with the mother's blessing (and the child's go ahead as he's old enough to choose) I am going to try and encourage him to finally have a relationship with his son as the partner has now aged and I would like to think his behaviour has mellowed from back when he was making it hard for my OH to have the relationship

Thank you

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  • ZaSa1418ZaSa1418 Forumite
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    If the child is his then yes he should try and make an effort to have a relationship with his son but he will have to tread carefully.
    If the child isn't his then unless he takes her to small claims court then i don't think he will get any money back, as he admitted parentage at the start by not requesting DNA test back then the CSA won't try and help him get money back.
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  • omega85omega85 Forumite
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    I would not be so sure about that. Not sure whether DNA test was an option 11 years ago, or it was offered as part of the process in the beginning. Other than that he can also state that he was kind of enforced by CMS to pay, or he was misled by them, or he was simply too young to understand and refuse their order. He will likely seek legal advice and CMS would not be too important in the story. They would likely lift their hands and sit back since they are just in the middle of you two. I suppose you would be the defendant in the case who has been accepting financial support from him by mistake. This is one side of the story, the other is paying the money back according to certain terms which would be extremely difficult to decide by the judge and it would certainly take several years or forever. 
  • Ms_ChocaholicMs_Chocaholic Forumite
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    What do you think the chances of the paternity test coming back as negative is - are you jumping the gun? Wait for the test then decide what to do, it could be positive.
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  • EmmiaEmmia Forumite
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    And what if the mother is unable to repay the money?

    Is your OH willing to potentially bankrupt someone over something they've not previously contested (DNA parentage tests have been available for many years), or would they be satisfied to not be liable for ongoing support?
  • edited 30 December 2021 at 6:33PM
    elsienelsien Forumite
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    edited 30 December 2021 at 6:33PM
    omega85 said:
    I would not be so sure about that. Not sure whether DNA test was an option 11 years ago, or it was offered as part of the process in the beginning. Other than that he can also state that he was kind of enforced by CMS to pay, or he was misled by them, or he was simply too young to understand and refuse their order. He will likely seek legal advice and CMS would not be too important in the story. They would likely lift their hands and sit back since they are just in the middle of you two. I suppose you would be the defendant in the case who has been accepting financial support from him by mistake. This is one side of the story, the other is paying the money back according to certain terms which would be extremely difficult to decide by the judge and it would certainly take several years or forever. 
    What are you talking about? This makes very little sense at all. 
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  • MattMattMattUKMattMattMattUK Forumite
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    sheramber said:
    That precludes the government taking action automatically, I am not sure is means civil action would not be possible though. 
  • pixiemerpixiemer Forumite
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    Thanks everyone, sorry for the late reply moving house and covid it's all been a nightmare. He has the paternity test booked so we will see. He was young when he got told the child with his and he just didn't question it which was very naive. In hindsight he knows he should have questioned it and he knows he should have asked for more solid evidence. 

    I think it will be positive but you never know and he is thinking on both sides. If it is positive he will happily continue to pay the maintenance not a problem. If not he wants to seek laywers advice.  For the comment on bankruptcy I would never sit by and allow him to take action that caused the child to suffer in any way, his or not his. As much as he would want to see some of his money back he wouldn't send her into a rabbit hole for it.
  • TBagpussTBagpuss Forumite
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    There have been a couple of cases of men making claims against their ex's , and as I recall, they have hinged on whether there was deliberate dishonesty - the claim isn't for a return of the payments made, it is for damaged for the deceit (and would probably be lower where there was no relationship with the child so no lost relationship to grieve) 
    Rodwell was a high profile case on this. However, to succeed, I believe that you have to be able to show that there was deliberate deceit - i.e. that the mother stated that the child was his while knowing that he wasn't .

    You mention that it's harder to get pregnant past 40, which is true, but may also mean that an 'oops' baby is more likely - and of course huge numbers of 40 years old women fo have babies, and men's fertility falls too, so if you partner was younger then that may well have increased the chances of pregnancy.  

    it's not unreasonable for your partner to want to know whether his is the father, and to seek to build a relationship even at this late stage if he is, but I would not get your hopes up that he's going to get a sudden windfall if not. 

    And for the record, yes, DNA tests have been readily available for well over 11 years - and the Rodwell case was pretty widely reported when it happened,  10 years ago 
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • yksiyksi Forumite
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    It's kind of a rumour about ultra-low fertility after 40. The figures that most people use to prove it's unlikely date back more than a hundred years, a time when most 40yos already had multiple children in their overcrowded homes/beds, had been married many years and thus were probably not "doing the deed" as often as 20yos... so of course this is reflected in lower birth rates for the over-40s. It's lower chances, but not near-impossible.

    So long as people got dates correct and she wasn't playing the field, there's good odds it's his. When I say dates correct... average people get the conception date incorrect by about two weeks. When you're told you are "six weeks pregnant" this means conception was about four weeks ago. Pregnancies are 8½ months long, not 9! So if he knows/knew either dates he can make a more accurate guess while he waits for the test result.

    Kudos for you for putting the child's needs first in all this, which you have clearly thought about.
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