Is it ever ok for a Father to not pay child support?

(52 Posts)
LivelySoul Fri 13-Dec-13 19:04:30

Hey

I am posting here as I do want men's opinions as well as womens...

I recently had this conversation with two of my male friends and I found it really interesting and wondering what the consensus is on this.

Should a man who has fathered a child always be held financially responsible for their children? For an example two consenting adults have a one night stand, woman finds out she is pregnant and goes ahead with the pregnancy, the father did not, should he be liable to pay for his child?

The case that sparked our conversation was in a nutshell, married couple can't have children, find a surrogate, during the term of surrogates pregnancy she decides to keep the baby (which she is legally aloud to do) once this child was born she denies all access but claims for child support which the biological father has to pay, however as he is not on the birth certificate and fails to get access...

What do you all think?

Was that surrogacy case in the UK? I am doubtful.

My view:
1. Fathers should always pay child support, and it should be a proper amount, not some cursory small sum after they divert half their salary into a pension scheme or something. The father can ONLY make the decision about whether he is happy to support a child before he has sex.

2. Access and child support should be completely unrelated.

LivelySoul Fri 13-Dec-13 19:09:50

No the case was actually in the US and just what sparked the conversation...

SandyDilbert Fri 13-Dec-13 19:11:57

since when has a name on the birth certificate been a requirement for you to get access?

LivelySoul Fri 13-Dec-13 19:13:11

Now I am not saying that this is my personal opinion but the argument that came up with this is that a woman has the right to terminate a pregnancy with no consent from the Father so should a Father not have the right to terminate his responsibility to support emotionally and financially? For instance, relinquish parental responsibility voluntarily without courts or the agreement of biological Mother.

lottieandmia Fri 13-Dec-13 19:13:37

Surrogacy is, of course a potentially a complicated situation that requires the acceptance by everyone involved that of the surrogate decides she wants to keep the baby the law is usually on her side.

Fathers should always be liable for child support. There is no situation where they should not - it takes two people to make a baby and everyone knows that a pregnancy can result from having sex even if you took precautions to prevent it. Potential fathers also know that if they make someone pregnant they will have little say in the outcome.

LivelySoul Fri 13-Dec-13 19:15:05

since when has a name on the birth certificate been a requirement for you to get access?

I honestly am not sure about the legalities of that, this was just the article we read, as I said it was US so obviously the laws are different from the UK and vary from state to state.

lottieandmia Fri 13-Dec-13 19:17:11

There are loads of men who just walk away from their biological children and act like they don't even exist. The woman is always left with the task of bringing the child up so the least the man can do is to pay child support. It's also stupid to say 'oh well the woman could have had an abortion'. Some people can't do this.

LivelySoul Fri 13-Dec-13 19:30:08

Can't or won't? They could do it they choose not to for whatever reasons they have. I would absolutely be in the "won't" category but that's not to say I couldn't. I know there are religious reasons people "can't" but I would still say they won't because of their religious reasons, the only time I would say someone couldn't is if they found out they were pregnant too late.

There is a choice for every female but not every male. I really am on the fence about this, which at the start of the conversation I really wasn't but after listening to my friends opinions and thinking things through logically I really struggled to make my mind up if I'm honest. Like I said the topic interests me but I am in no way looking to offend anyone just intrigued to others opinions.

lottieandmia Fri 13-Dec-13 19:39:42

Sorry I think that is nonsense. If the man doesn't want a baby he can make sure he uses a condom. All this stuff about poor men not having a choice I just don't get.

Whether a woman has an abortion or a baby as a result of having sex, it is her body that has to suffer the physiological and the psychological fall out afterwards. Having an abortion is not like taking a paracetamol.

LivelySoul Fri 13-Dec-13 19:52:04

I never set it was... I'm just saying there is a choice there.

Originally the condom was my argument too but what if they did and it just didn't work?

caroldecker Fri 13-Dec-13 21:16:08

Any person who has PIV sex risks having a child. A woman has the option afterwards of an abortion, a man does not. He therefore makes a potential financial commitment before the act, and we should ensure all our children are aware of this - there are many ways to enjoy yourself without PIV.

Daddyofone Sat 14-Dec-13 07:05:57

There was a case in the UK last year where a gay man had agreed with two lesbian friends to father two children for them with an agreement that he would play no part in the children's lives.

A few years down the line the two women broke up and the one with care pursued the man for CM. Back dated I believe.

I thought in that situation it was unfair to expect the man to pay.

Spottybra Sat 14-Dec-13 07:20:00

Dsis never saw a penny from dnephews dad. I supported d nephew with clothes and toys and sports clubs, meals out and holidays. This was on account that he was violent and abusive and had never had a job in his life. Dnephew was hospitalised after being beaten in his care at 15 months old.

Better off without him.

crunchypower Sat 14-Dec-13 14:13:59

If you are a sperm donor I don't think you should pay. I beleive this is the current legal position, if it is all done correctly and not some dodgy verbal arrangement.

caroldecker Sat 14-Dec-13 14:39:01

sperm donation via a hospital leaves no parental rights or obligations. Any other arrangement does not work as the mother is unable to sign away the rights of the child to receive parental support

Daddyofone Mon 16-Dec-13 21:48:01

What ever the legalities around donations via official routes, I still have to say in terms of the OPs question, the story I mentioned does in my mind make it morally ok for him not to pay CM.

It's the exception to the rule. There's always one.

halestone Mon 16-Dec-13 23:52:33

I agree that in the surrogacy case he should not be made to pay.

I also think that a man who wants access but is refused by the mother shouldn't have to pay maintenance. I l know this is a controversial view but i believe that if he wants a part in his childs life and proves it consistently and there is no history of abuse and isn't allowed, then that woman is saying no i don't need any help so i find it hypocritical for her to demand money. I think he should be able to put that money jn a separate bank account for his DC to access at a later date.

TheGirlFromIpanema Tue 17-Dec-13 00:01:20

Men do have a choice though hmm

They can actually make a choice a long time before pregnancy occurs.

ONS scenario - of course he bears some of the financial responsibility. He made his choice.

Weird surrogate scenario - sounds a bit dodgy to me.

Surely a sensible person would have legally drawn up agreements before any baby was born. If not (in case of either sex) then tough luck imo. The concept of financial responsibility is a lot older than any men currently providing sperm in this type of situation.

caroldecker Tue 17-Dec-13 01:17:09

Legal agreements on surrogacy are irrelevant - the mother cannot sign away the rights of the child. Only through a hospital route are sperm donors protected from financial responsibility

randomAXEofkindness Tue 17-Dec-13 01:54:29

Yes. Factoring in travel expenses (which are all dh's responsibility because he happens to have a penis), dss costs us significantly more than he costs exw. It would be unfair for him to then have to pay child maintenance. Why should he?

BillyBanter Tue 17-Dec-13 02:04:08

I'm sure there must be some circumstance where it would be reasonable not to. Your example is an odd one. I certainly feel sorry for him.

For practical reasons of biology men's choices end at a point before sex. If the CSA is good for one thing it's helping men realise this.

Daddyofone Tue 17-Dec-13 05:29:27

Another one that springs to mind ( as bonkers as it is ) is that odd woman who writes in the Daily Mail. The one who was a fashion editor.

She wrote that she used to try and inseminate herself from her husbands discarded condoms. Ugh.

I think it'd be unfair for her ex husband to pay CM if she'd succeeded.

Annonynon Tue 17-Dec-13 05:57:13

In the surrogacy case it's not the maintenance I have a problem with but that the father isn't being given access, he went into it knowing he was fathering a child and that child is still his

Sperm donors are the only ones who should be exempt imo

Also not all women have the choice of a termination, there are still legal limits in place. As others have said the mans choice happens earlier than the womans but he still makes it, after that the consequences are clear

Agree with what others have said here. The surrogacy scenario sounds hard, but it is an extreme scenario. I think another example where the man shouldn't pay is where a woman rapes a man and, as a result of the rape, gets pregnant. I expect this does happen, but extremely rarely.

As for one-night stands: I think it is clear that the man should pay up if required. The alternative would be to force the woman to take on a crippling burden or have an abortion. I can't see how it is fair that anyone should face a choice like that. Child support is hardly enough to keep a person in clover as it is.

I understand that the situation in NZ is that sperm-donors aren't liable as long as the agreement is drawn up prior to the pregnancy - this stops fathers from trying to wriggle out of their responsibilities after the fact.

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