When Will Men Learn?

Here’s yet another case of a father who says he shouldn’t have to pay child support because he didn’t intend to father a child. The U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled (NE. v. Hedges, Case No. 04a)437p.06, U.S. Ct. Appeals December 20, 2004) that a father must pay child support despite his claim that the mother “fraudulently induced” sexual intercourse. She told him, according to the father, that her birth control pills would work and that there was no way she could get pregnant. Oh come on.

This case is noteworthy not because it breaks new ground but because it doesn’t. This point is well-settled. As the court put it,

. . . there are no judicial decisions recognizing a constitutional right of a man to terminate his duties of support under state law for a child that he has fathered, no matter how removed he may be emotionally from the child. Child support has long been a tax fathers have had to pay in Western civilization.

It’s also noteworthy because, I’m told, the father was a lawyer. Oh well.

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