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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35042
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I have just received a letter throug the post asking

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I have just received a letter throug the post asking for me to pay child maintenance. The mother of the child has never allowed me to see my son and married when he was 1 or 2 years old, he was adopted by her now husband but is now asking for child maintenance after 12 years? Is this allowed or do I have a case to put forward for not paying it, as far as I was concerned I had no legal rights as a father as he was born on 03/06/2002? Your help is greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Who is the letter from?
Are you certain that there was an adoption?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Clare,
Thank you and your help us appreciated.
The letter was from the Child Maintenece Service
I was told about 10 years ago that this was the case but I can't be 100%, is there a way of finding out.
When he was born I was aware that just after that the law changed giving in married fathers the same rights as a married father, this is how I believe she changed his surname to her now husband and I didn't have to be informed about it and this is why I am convinced he adopted him..
Were you named on the birth certificate?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare, yes I was
Then the news is not good I am afraid.
It is not likely that there was ever a formal adoption as you would have to have been contacted for your agreement - or given notice that there would be a court hearing at which the court would make the order anyway.
I am afraid that if you are named as the father on the birth certificate then yes you remain liable for child maintenance even after all this time.
If you have any doubt about paternity then you should ask for a DNA test (sadly at your expense unless it transpires that the child is not yours at which point the money will be refunded)
You can also consider making an application for contact if you so wish
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare,
Thank you for your help, I was positive that where the laws were changed after the birth of my son on 03/06/2002, that I had no legal rights as a father? So she wouldn't have needed my permission to have him adopted as I don't have any legal rights as I was not a married father. Only after he was born were the laws changed to give unmarried fathers the same rights as married fathers!? I don't know, maybe I'm clutching at straws here but I just don't understand how someone married with another child can just all of a sudden they decide to file for child maintenance after 12 years of not letting me see my son... The probability of it is that if I asked for contact he is now of an age to say no which is why she is doing it!?
The law did change in December 2003 - had the child been born after that date she could not have changed the name without your consent - but you would still have been involved in an adoption.
I suspect that a marriage breakdown may have triggered this application - although that is a guess at best
In fact at 12 the child might be interested rather than resistant - there is no way of knowing
I am sorry that you felt my service was bad meaning that I get no credit for my time and which is not necessary for and does not trigger a refund.
I am sorry that I have to be the one to give you bad news, but I can only be honest about your legal position and the problems that you face
Please ask if you have specific questions to ask
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare, I didn't rate bad service and have no idea why it has stated that, I am very happy with your service and appreciate your time. I honestly hadn't done that and have now rated you as I felt you gave me great service..
That is fine - i am glad that I helped