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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2012/09/17

Between a rock and a hard place

Hi Doc,

I''m a single mom to my 12 yr old daughter - the father left me when I was 4 months pregnant, denied paternity after birth and evaded 2 summonses to court (maintenance). Until now I (stupidly) have coped (barely) on my own, raising my daughter and trying to cover everything myself. I managed to track him down, (he is in the UK in a high powered job at director level), and have contacted him. He wants a DNA test (which I am happy to have done). However, he is dragging his feet to the extent that I wait for a week to get an email reply back from him each time (I dont have his cell number or landline, only an email address). I think he is doing this in the hopes that I''ll give up. I don''t know how difficult it is to set up an appointment with a laboratory that does DNA testing when one parent is in another country, but apparently it can be done. He says he will arrange this - but due to his dragging his feet on replies, nothing seems to be happening.
I don''t have the funds to go to a family lawyer. Do you know where I stand with this? I don''t know what else to do now.

Thank you so much

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Its unfortunate that the courts are usually much less ingenious and determined to catch a deadbeat dad, than the deadbeat is. You need legal advice on whether you can cost-effectively pursue the heel in the UK. Maybe get the blood / DNA tests done on yourself and the child, meanwhile.
Have you googled him, or looked up the website of his company, as they often have leads with phone numbers.
The blood sampl;es need to be taken and properly tested by a competent and neutral lab ; you dont all have to be present at the same time.
Maybe the British Embassy can advise ; and maybe his company would be interested to help. His delaying a DNA test ( which could conclusively prove that he is NOT the father ) is highly suspicious and very strongly suggests that he knows he is indeed the father, but is too cheap to pay for his responsibilities.

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2012/09/17

I''m quite sure that the father will stop dawdling over the tests if there''s any danger whatsoever that his work colleagues are going to find out that he''s evading his responsibilities. Presumably he''ll want to prevent anyone from finding out and damaging his reputation.

If you cannot afford to pay for a lawyer, please go to your nearest university law clinic to obtain help. They usually either offer free services, or they charge according to your income. I don''t know what the legal procedure would be to sue a father who''s not resident in South Africa, but there must be a way that won''t cost you an arm and a leg.

The mere threat of being exposed as a deadbeat dad should be enough to get him to actually do something about the situation - especially if he''s a high-flying director of a corporation. Hopefully then you won''t need to go the entire suing-for-maintenance route.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Another anon | 2012/09/17

Hi anon

I''m sorry to hear that the father of your child denies his own daughter. It''s heartbreaking. Especially since I''m also a daughter whose father never wanted to have anything to do with her. My mom raised me on her own. With help from family members. If the father, does not want to be part of his daughters life then I would get enough evidence. So that my daughter does not grow up one day and start looking for the man who once upon a time denied her not only an important father figure. But also from having a good quality life. (the maintenance money could''ve helped in many ways). But he is blatantly denying her such. Be truthful to your daughter when she grows up and start asking questions. But for now, just give her the basic things, a good eductaion, teaching her how to look after herself, and her health. Love her, talk to her about how to value life, friendship and most importantly. How important family is. Also make it known to her that man, are a different species that will never be truthful. I k ow she''s too young to know those things. But, I was told at a young age, about my father. And in the end, I looked for that father figure in the wrong places. I wasn''t looking for love, or comfort. I merely jut wanted to feel accepted. Maybe you should send in a long heartfelt email. And explain to him, how he will be depriving his daughter of a good education, and access to proper medical aid etc. And do mention. That it is enough she will have to grow up knowingly, that her father denied she''s his.

All the best to you and your daughter.

Reply to Another anon
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/09/17

Its unfortunate that the courts are usually much less ingenious and determined to catch a deadbeat dad, than the deadbeat is. You need legal advice on whether you can cost-effectively pursue the heel in the UK. Maybe get the blood / DNA tests done on yourself and the child, meanwhile.
Have you googled him, or looked up the website of his company, as they often have leads with phone numbers.
The blood sampl;es need to be taken and properly tested by a competent and neutral lab ; you dont all have to be present at the same time.
Maybe the British Embassy can advise ; and maybe his company would be interested to help. His delaying a DNA test ( which could conclusively prove that he is NOT the father ) is highly suspicious and very strongly suggests that he knows he is indeed the father, but is too cheap to pay for his responsibilities.

Reply to cybershrink

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