After shelling out $110,000 in child support, a man discovered after some thirty years that he was not his son’s biological father.
It turns out the boy was reportedly the product of an affair by his mother – with a man who is now wealthy.
The de facto father, a retiree on a limited income, is now suing the former family friend and the boy’s godfather.
In an surprise ruling, the NJ Supreme Court, reversed the trial and intermediate appellate courts and, in essence, ruled that it is just too bad for the divorced father. The statute of limitations has long since expired.
Central to the state high Court’s ruling in the case is that the biological father did not actively trick or defraud the de facto father. He merely never volunteered that he thought he was the biological father.
The mother broke her apparently willful silence when her son married, to warn him that he may carry the gene for a potentially deadly disease that had taken the lives of other children of the biological father.
Otherwise, the de facto father might never have learned the truth.
On the specific facts of the case, financially struggling de facto father vs. wealthy bio dad, the outcome just doesn’t sit well.
But, of course, rules of law have to apply broadly to a wide spectrum of facts. Statutes of limitations are very common in our legal system and are intended to impose finality after an appropriate interval of time.