A piece by David Brown, Chief News Correspondent, in The Times two days ago:
A cuckolded husband is suing his unfaithful wife after learning that he did not father their eight-year-old son.
The man demanded a DNA test last year after hearing rumours that his wife of 15 years had been having an affair at the time their son was conceived. He then started legal proceedings against his wife including breach of confidence, seeking repayment of all the money he had spent on the boy and damages for the distress he has suffered.
The husband also demanded to know the name of his wife’s lover as he “does not want to spend his time wondering which of his social circle is to blame”. He has also threatened to take legal action against the lover.
Mr Justice Cohen said in a judgment in the family division of the High Court that the husband had been “devastated by the news that he was not the biological father [as it] was a huge blow to him personally as well as to his pride and status”. The husband has now decided to remain as the boy’s “psychological father”, and will not seek the return of cash spent on him, but wants the child to know he is not his natural father.
The judge said that the mother, who lives in London, was “full of remorse”. She has asked the judge not to allow her son to be told about his disputed paternity and “to let his childhood continue with two adults as his devoted parents until such time as he fully understands the facts of life and would be able to comprehend the truth”. Mr Justice Cohen said that the son was “an intelligent boy . . . who was deeply saddened by the breakdown of his parents’ marriage”.
The judge ordered in July that a letter be written to the wife’s former lover, identified only as Mr X, informing him that he is alleged to be the father of the child. Mr X replied that the allegations “have no iota of truth whatsoever”.
He ordered that a social worker should decide when the boy should be told the name of Mr X. The mother must then also tell her former husband the name of her lover, he added.
Mr Justice Cohen refused to let the father take the boy to his holiday home in France after the mother complained that her son would hear “a lot of very unpleasant gossip” from his staff. The judge was concerned that the husband could take the boy to the United Arab Emirates, where he is now based, and the mother would struggle to secure her son’s return because as an adulteress she may be regarded as “unsuitable”.
He is due to consider whether the husband’s claims relating to damages for deceit should be allowed to proceed at a hearing later this year.
An appalling piece by columnist Melanie McDonagh in yesterday’s Sunday Times, only in the print edition:
Drop the DNA tests: paternal mystery is good for us
There aren’t many forms of technology that are really bad for women, but I’d make a case for DNA tests as an instrument of Satan. [J4MB: Because the tests can prove women who commit paternity fraud – a crime under the Fraud Act – guilty of the crime, although the Crown NEVER prosecutes them for it.] Last week a man sued his wife for breach of confidence and the repayment of childcare costs when he discovered from a test that his eight-year-old son – poor boy – isn’t his.
He’s now demanding that his wife reveal the identity of the actual father. Oh, grow up. This was the state of lots of men in the pre-certainty era and they just got on with it. [J4MB: What a feeble argument.] Why, the cuckoos in respectable nests include the Archbishop of Canterbury, who a couple of years ago found out that, as the old calypso song has it, “Your daddy’s not your daddy but your daddy don’t know.”
I ask you, what would have happened to the plot of Poldark if the men knew who had fathered whom? [J4MB: Another feeble argument.] Sometimes ignorance is better all round. [J4MB: “Better all round” meaning “better for criminally devious women, and men can go to hell”.]
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