25 February 2012

A Heartening Trend

From FoxNews:

Over the years, Eric Fischer had grown suspicious of whether he was really the father of his youngest daughter. So he secretly got a sample of the girl's hair, grabbed one from his own head and sent them to a lab for DNA testing.
Sure enough, he was right. The girl was the product of an affair between Fischer's wife, Pamela Tournier, and her business partner, Richard Zollino.
Now, five years later, the State Supreme Court has ruled that Fischer can proceed with a lawsuit demanding that the girl's biological father pay him $190,000—half the cost of raising her.

I have no issue with fathers being expected to provide for their children.*  However, it is patently unjust to expect men to care for some other man’s child, particularly if forced to do so at gunpoint. As such, it is somewhat refreshing to see that men now have a legal precedent for reclaiming what was taken from them under false pretenses (which was once known as fraud).  Hopefully other men will also be able to expect legal recourse for being defrauded by false claims of parentage.

* Just so MRAs don’t get their panties in a knot, I also have no qualms about mothers being expected to take care of their children.


  1. Is the denigration of MRA's really necessary? Your perception of their stance may be disagreeable but they stand for something that most men are too lazy or too cowardly to stand for, and they're prepared to risk ridicule for it. They dont need your kind words but they sure as hell deserve it.

    I've been following your blog for over a year now and can vouch for the quality of much your work but whatever respect I have for you is wholly undone by demeaning remarks about Men's Rights Activists.

    In case you're wondering, this is what an MRA looks (and sounds) like:


    Listen carefully, and be thankful that people like this exist in the world.

  2. I find it depressingly consistent with the modern zeitgeist that the a child's father is being held liable for the choices of the child's mother. The choices of a woman are being financed on the back of a man. Again.

    But otherwise I join you in concluding that this is a positive development that contributes to the gradual undermining of the legal presumption of paternity for children born inside a marriage.

    As far as the expectation that men support their children, I agree in general. The rub comes from when the State strips men of their authority over their children. When that occurs, the State by its actions acquires responsibility for the child, and then shares said responsibility with mom. Involuntarily deprived of authority by the State, the father morally no longer has responsibility, despite what the Law--crafted to shield women from their choices--oh-so-conveniently says.

  3. @redux- If you have read the comments on several of my past posts, you will undoubtedly be aware that, for the most part, the only people who get completely bent out of shape about trivial things I write are either MRAs or solipsistic young women. Qualifying myself so as not to get MRAs' panties in knots is not denigration, its a claim based on personally observed behavior. I do not hate MRAs (except for the handful of virulently anti-Game ones), and I do sympathize with much their concerns. However, I find their negativity and general pettiness to be completely unappealing. I understand their need to vent, which is why I generally don't frequent their sites and complain about their need to vent. My blog, however, is not generally the place for this sort of behavior, as evidenced by the general lack of polemics against the unfairness of our misandrist family law system.

    @EW- I have no problem with men being expected to take care of the children they bring into the world (it takes two, etc.). In the interest of fairness, I will readily concede that those who receive the lion's share of parental rights (right to carry to term, e.g.) should pay the corresponding portion of costs, but it strikes me as absurd to say that men have no obligations to their children. And, just so we're clear, I certainly believe that rights and responsibilities go hand in hand; I do not want the situation we currently have--where men bear all the responsibilities and women have all the rights--but I don't think it wise to absolve men of their responsibilities to their children. Rather, I would prefer to see men have more rights.

  4. I also noticed that the woman pays no penalty for her fraud when she was a willing parnet in it from the beginning. This may be why the other man only has to pay half. But if the woman doesn't pay the other half, then the husband is still only getting partial justice.

    This is nornally resolved by a family law judge deciding that it is in teh best interest of the child to have a good father paying child support and not a cheating homewrecker.

  5. "Rather, I would prefer to see men have more rights."

    I agree with you completely, despite what I write above. In fact, I don't necessarily think that what you and I wrote are mutex. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    Perhaps I should have couched what I wrote above with the disclaimer that it is the reduction ad absurdum of the present habit of stripping men of their paternal rights while vigorously enforcing their responsibilities to support their seed. What I wrote is merely the other side of the coin of unilateral divorce and attendant rights-stripping.

    Some guys I think are responding to this situation by dodging "responsibility" when and where they can, on a massive scale. Which leads to 'rational slackerhood'...why voluntarily assume the yoke of responsibility (family formation, working hard, paying taxes, becoming a pillar of community) when one has observed their fathers/brothers/uncles punished for choosing to be so (and players/thugs/other slackers rewarded)? Better to avoid the noid entirely.

    Our social policy sets this dynamic in motion. I'd just as soon that said policy encourage men and women to take responsibility for their actions and their families. And to do that will require restoration of the rights of fathers relative to mothers and unattached men.

  6. "why voluntarily assume the yoke of responsibility (family formation, working hard, paying taxes, becoming a pillar of community) when one has observed their fathers/brothers/uncles punished for choosing to be so (and players/thugs/other slackers rewarded)?"

    As I wrote in an earlier post, this is why men will never "man up." Though the way out of this mess will require that men once again reclaim their role as leaders, there is literally no rational reason for them to do so, and I can't say that I blame them in the slightest for it.

  7. @Prof. Hale- Well, Fisher was married to his wife until their youngest (the daughter whose paternity was in question) was fifteen, so she presumably contributed to the raising of her daughter for at least fifteen years. Assuming that the woman did, in fact, fulfill her maternal duties during this time, and assuming that she did not get custody, she should only have to pay for the last three years of the daughter's raising since that would have been the only time in which she did not contribute to her daughter's raising.