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Ask Harris Your Own Question
Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2739
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My husband paid child maintenance then found

Resolved Question:

Hi, my husband paid child maintenance for years then found out his daughter's mother (they were never married and she got deliberately pregnant to try to trap him so he walked away) had married after 3/4 years and his daughter by this woman had been either been adopted by her new husband (we are unsure because they lie so much) but, we do know she definitely took his name. They never told my husband and he continued paying maintenance He had no contact for nearly 30 years from the daughter till she showed up one day, so he never knew any of this. Can he claim back those years of maintenance or was he still liable to pay?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your question. I am a qualified family law solicitor.
Just a few questions before I can answer fully - was he named on the birth certificate? What makes you think that she was adopted?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He thinks she was adopted by the new husband. My husband seems unsure bc this daughter lied/s so much. She definitely has the step fathers name though
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The mother has now passed away and had not spoken to my husband even in many years before that.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My husband was named on the birth certificate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There was no DNA proof though. He took her on trust. I have always had my doubts
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
... that my husband was the father. The mother was unstable. Tried to take her own life 3 times.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Tricked him by getting pregnant. So he walked away. She said she wanted nothing from him. After 2 years the courts contacted him and he was summoned to court. She had changed her name by deed poll to his family name?!!! And claimed he was the father. No DNA as i say. He paid maintenance for 16 years. Never met the child once till she was nearly 30 and showed up. She was using the step father's surname.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When i say "she" changed her name to my husband's, i mean the unstable mother.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just want to check, are you still there?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
As he was named as the father on the birth certificate he would have parental responsibility and therefore the court would notify him of any application for adoption. The requirement for him to have a say in the adoption is dispensed with, for example if he could not be found or if he had mental capacity issues. If he was paying child maintenance at the time it would have been highly unlikely that the court would not have considered this if such an application was made.
The Child Support Agency cannot deal with refunds when parentage is contested when the child is an adult as this would have needed to be raised when the application was originally made so that parentage can be confirmed.
If the child was adopted then his rights end and he will not be liable for child maintenance and pursuing a refund of child maintenance will be costly and time-consuming, and may not be possible given that the mother has now passed away. Again, he will need to confirm that she had been adopted.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Good luck, and please do come back if you have any questions.
Harris and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you