Monday, January 14, 2013

Who's Their Daddy?


One does not know how often it happens, but surely it is far more prevalent than anyone would care to admit.

Until recently a man had to rely on his wife’s good word to know whether he had fathered her child.

One likes to think that all human beings are honorable, but, alas, in more than a few cases cheating wives have lied to their husbands about paternity. After all, it's in their best interest to do so.

DNA testing will, in many cases, provide a new incentive for women to tell the truth, or better, not to cheat.


When they were married the Rodwells had two children. Helen Rodwell told her husband that the children were his. He treated them as his own, being a good father to them.

But, after the Rodwells were divorced, friends suggested to him that the children did not bear very much of a resemblance to him. They recommended that he have them take a paternity test.

Test results confirmed that neither child was his. Rodwell discovered that he had been duped by his wife.

Apparently, Helen Rodwell was sorely offended that her ex-husband would doubt her good word. She induced both children to cease all contact with their ex-father.

For his part, Rodwell had been willing to continue as their step-father, but the children have refused, accusing him of ruining their lives.

Since 2004 divorce Rodwell had paid out roughly $20,000 in child support.

When he took the case to court, Rodwell was awarded monetary damages on the grounds of “bereavement.” The court found that he had lost his children and had also, given the age of his second wife, lost the opportunity to father another child.

The Daily Mail reports:

Mr Rodwell was awarded compensation in 2011 of £12,500 for each child, and costs of £25,000. He also won a court order forcing his ex-wife to move out of the marital home, which is now up for sale for £119,995. Mrs Rodwell yesterday declined to comment.

I cannot tell you whether similar cases have been decided in American courts.

Common sense suggests that the court decided correctly by finding Richard Rodwell to be entitled to damages as the victim of a civil fraud.

Compensating him for “bereavement” feels like more of a stretch, but at least they did not call it a tax.

9 comments:

Kath said...

There have been cases in the U.S. where the husband was ordered to continue child support even after paternity tests proved he was not the father.
The husband had raised the children as his own. The judge would not allow him to abandon them. It is a tough situation for the duped man and the children.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I suspected as much, but I didn't have the references. If anyone knows of specific cases, we would all be grateful to see how they were decided.

JP said...

"For his part, Rodwell had been willing to continue as their step-father, but the children have refused, accusing him of ruining their lives."

I today's metaphysical lesson, we learn that the truth can be catastrophic.

DNA tests make life more interesting, don't they?

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Vastly... I put up this story because it isn't very clear to me which is the right thing to do. Not know the truth; know the truth and say nothing about it; accept being defrauded and living a lie???

Kristi said...

I think the truth would have come out, sooner or later.

It is interesting that it appears that the children, at least the daughter, blame the cuckolded husband and not their mother for the mess. It is also sad.

JP said...

@Kristi:

""It is interesting that it appears that the children, at least the daughter, blame the cuckolded husband and not their mother for the mess. It is also sad."

She's just siding with her mother rather than some random guy her mother used to sleep with from time to time.

Makes sense to me.

vmwtwrt said...

I read somewhere last year that in cases where men actually had a DNA test done to test for paternity, in 1/3 of the cases, the children wre not theirs.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I've seen numbers that are slightly lower, but that are within that range. I cannot recall where I saw them.

DeNihilist said...

Well here's a side view. One of my customers and his wife have a complimentary genetic defeciency, that if lined up right in the zygote would produce a genetic disaster of a child. They have one 20,000.00 child already, and have started the precedure for number two.

If said mother and one of the two fathers had compatible genetic defeciency, that would not be thougt of if one of the kids started having medical problems, it could be fatal not to know!

Really? up to 1/3 of kids could be cuckolded? Shit, thank God we stopped at 2!

:)