I am a 40-year-old father of three children aged 11, 7 and 5 years. I recently discovered that my wife has been cheating on me and has kept regular contact with a certain man for over seven years.
This was her boss in a company she previously worked for. I went ahead and did private investigation only to discover that he is the father of my second born son. I am now depressed and do not want to be associated with a child that is not mine.
I do not wish to continue providing for this child. I understand that this will affect the relationship with my wife and the other children and this dispute might end up in court and consequently a divorce.
I want to delete my name from all documents relating to the child. Does this have any legal basis?
This question presents both social and legal technicalities. The social aspect relates to provision and maintenance for two of the children and leaving out one yet they have lived and known you as their father all their lives.
You have, however, mentioned that you are fully aware of the implications of this action.
The legal question is on whether you can cease providing for one of the children and also have your name deleted from their records or legal documents.
The law provides that biological parents acquire automatic parental responsibility. They do not have to be married for this to be enforced.
A man who is not the biological father of a child may apply formally to acquire parental responsibility.
In this case you allege that you are not the biological parent and was not aware of this fact till recently.
Since you became aware of this fact, you have mentioned that you do not wish to take up that responsibility.
It is, therefore, within your legal right to seek to cut the link. This should be presented to a civil court for determination.
You will be required to prove that you are not the child’s biological parent through DNA test, and that at no time, knowing that you are not the child’s biological parent, did you agree to take up this responsibility.
Eric Mukoya is the Executive Director, Legal Resources Foundation Trust. Do you have a legal problem you would like addressed by a lawyer? Please email your queries to [email protected]