The following is a response to a complaint about a case of paternity fraud in the US. The names and locations have been altered to protect the victims of the fraud.
The man who wrote the original complaint is experiencing the whole gamut of the weapons of the divorce industry:
- Paternity fraud;
- Child abduction and move-away by the mother (involving an eight-hour trip – one way – by the father if he wishes to see the child whom he has come to see as his own);
- False allegations of domestic violence, to keep the alleged fathers at bay and away;
- The defrauded man duped into paternity;
- The mother of the child refuses any child access to the alleged father;
- The defrauded father has become very strongly bonded to a child who is not his, for whom he pays child support, but a child whom he no longer gets to see, and more.
If anyone reading about that case here has any good advice or pointers, please post a comment to this blog entry.
Here is my response to the man’s complaint:
Sorry for your troubles, but thanks for writing.
Don’t blame your misfortune so much on a miscarriage of justice due to your lawyer’s ineptitude as on a justice system in which the cards are stacked against you. That is because you are a man. The family-law system hates men.
That is nothing personal, but the more difficulties men encounter due to the justice system, the more money the players who inhabit the system and make it thrive can extract from men. Family law grew into a social cancer.
The most important thing you can do is to get in touch with a fathers-rights organization in Flatbush, Tennessee.
It is highly likely, almost certain, that you must file your case in a Tennessee court, as Flatbush is the place of residence of the biological parents of your child.
However, do everything you can to keep the case out of family court. Family courts were a response by the legal system to the large back-log of divorce applications that occurred in the 1960’s as a consequence of the implementation of the concept of “no-fault” divorce (in whom the fault for the divorce is always placed squarely on the shoulders of the man). Family courts are not in existence to help families and to dispense justice for families. They exist to pursue their original reason for existence: to help speed up the destruction of families. In family courts the precepts of normal courts to follow the rules of the courts and the rules of evidence, your right to be judged a jury of your peers, your right to face your accuser, your right to own property, your right the enjoy the earnings of your labour and your right not to be forced into indentured labour and not to have you forced into forking over your earnings to third parties have all been abrogated and no longer apply.
You need to get in touch with that fathers-rights organization in Flatbush to learn from them what you can do to help your case. You will most likely learn more from them than you can learn from a lawyer. More importantly, you can ask them and learn from them how to go about finding a lawyer that can help you the best to win your case. However, your chances of winning are slim. That is because you are a man. The system hates men.
That was in relation to your wish to obtain custody of your daughter.
As to what you must do to get compensation from your lawyer and to get him punished or fined for lack of action, for botching your case, and for being a bad lawyer all around, you will have to file that case in New York. That case will have to be brought to court in New York, perhaps in New York State.
I do not know who in New York will be able to help you. I am not aware of a fathers rights activist who may be able to point you into the right direction on that. It will not hurt you to ask more fathers rights activist about it.
A word on your choice of lawyer in the very specialized field of family law: Family law is not specialized because lawyers receive much training in family law (at some universities, family law is covered in no more than a day), but because it has become a sector of the justice system that, along with many other government bureaucracies nurtured by and living off it, grew into an enormously large and profitable industry that mainly extracts money from men and pretends that is justice, all under the excuse that it all is “in the best interest of the child.”
The relationship between you and any lawyer working for you is like that with any other contractor you hire. You are the boss and pay the bills and his wages.
A lawyer works for you according to your plan, your schedule, your objectives, your instructions and your supervision. For you to miss out in any of those aspects is an invitation to disaster and much like giving the lawyer a signed, blank cheque.
Moreover, you must select and choose a lawyer like you would any other contractor. With a construction or building-renovation project you may engage in a formal and tender and bidding process. You would receive bids for a given job from more than one contractor. You would evaluate the bids and pick the most promising contractor. If you were not to do that, you would have no assurance that the contractor you hired would be the best for the job you want him to do. If you don’t follow a similar process when hiring a lawyer, then there is no possible way that you can be sure to have hired the best lawyer possible.
As to going by the recommendation of someone who said you should pick that lawyer, “good advice” like that is cheap, and it is worth to you what you pay for it, but it may be worth more to the party offering the “good advice.” Medical doctors pay a referral fee to other doctors who bring clients their way. I don’t know whether lawyers operate that way, but I would be surprised if they did not.
As to how to find a fathers-rights organization close to where you live, go to the website of the Equal Justice Foundation, and look there for the link to their help page.
Some general observations:
Given that your daughter is not your biological child, although you were duped into believing that she was, that will cause some special problems for you. It appears obvious that you were duped in order to make you become involved in a strong emotional bond with your daughter.
The fact that the bond now exists lays you open to blackmail and extortion by the biological parents of the child. Moreover, because you openly accepted the child as your own and are now even fighting for her custody and that of her sister, you are legally the father of that child and of her sister.
In all likelihood you will be paying child support until the girl comes of age or until she finishes her education, whichever comes later. Yet, you may not ever see her again. The “legal” system will insist that that is in the best interest of the child not only that, but that your daughter is entitled to the level of comfort she became accustomed to while still in your care. That means also that the child support amount will be increased over the years as your income increases. It will be said that that is necessary because she would have the increase in the level of comfort if she were still with you, and that those increases in child support payments, too, are in the best interest of the child.
Moreover, it is relatively easy now to make you the father of not only the girl whom you believed was your daughter, but also of the one that clearly and quite openly was not your child. That doubles the stakes in the game that you became involved in.
If the biological parents are in the state of existence you described, they will have a very strong interest in having you make those ever-increasing child support payments for as long as possible. In fact, as far as they are concerned, the best thing that could happen would be for them to have your daughter(s) go to university for as long as possible. They could well afford that, because you will be paying for it.
Your child support payments will be their major source of income. It will be far better than receiving a government disability pension, and it is possible for them to use the power of the State to make sure the money you are able to pay will keep coming their way.
That will motivate the parents to refuse to hand the child(ren) over to you. Against their resistance it will most likely be impossible for you to gain custody of your daughter(s). The parents will have lawyers beating a path to their door to help them fight your application to gain custody. You will be paying your lawyer out of your own resources. Their lawyers will be paid out of the bottomless public purse. You will therefore fight against an opponent with unlimited financial resources.
Under those circumstances it will be difficult for you to maintain the pretense that the girl is your daughter. You will have little or no feedback from her to re-enforce your bond with her. The question now is for how long you can keep up the pretense that the child is your daughter. When that pretense ends, the child support you are paying will be seen by you for what it is, extortion money that you must pay because you were duped and defrauded.
If you were to consider all of that, you should then not fight for custody but for recognition of what happened. You were duped and defrauded. That is a crime.
You are not the father of that child and you should fight to have your status cancelled of having been made the father through fraud. Your legal paternity is a fraud.
If you were to base your future actions on the fact of that fraud and if you were to attempt to put an end to it, you would have a very small but slightly better chance to have your paternity declared null and void than you have to gain custody of one or both of the girls.
All the best,
See also: US cases won against paternity fraud