MEN who owe their former lovers child support are taking DNA tests - financed by taxpayers - in a futile bid to avoid paying for their own children's upbringing.
Each year, dozens of Victorian dads demand DNA tests courtesy of Legal Aid, expecting to prove they owe their ex-spouses nothing - only to find they do.
Victorian parents are owed $4 million in maintenance by their former partners, according to the federal Child Support Agency.
That makes it sound as if the men seeking DNA tests are just trying to get out of supporting their own children. But later in the article the truth is revealed:
Figures supplied to the Herald Sun show that last year, 51 men asked for Victoria Legal Aid to conduct DNA tests after they were told to pay up.
A majority, 32, were proved to be dads and therefore financially liable.
So 37% of the men were shown not to be the father of the child that the woman was seeking 20 years of payment for. I would have thought the statistic fully justifies men who are uncertain of the parentage of a child getting it checked out. I think too we need to be harder on women seeking to deceive men in this way - it is a very low act.
Here's something else of concern. In Victoria men currently only get 28 days to to seek a test:
Melbourne lawyer Simon Bacon, partner with Manby & Scott Lawyers, said most men who challenged paternity with a DNA test were found to be correct, and more would do so if the law gave them more than a month to initiate proceedings after receiving child support orders.
"I would like to see the 28-day period expunged because it's an extraordinarily short period of time in the context of matrimonial breakdown," Mr Bacon said.
"The man is very much on the back foot if he wants to convince the court to issue proceedings out of time."
Why does there have to be such a short period of time? A deception at 28 days is still a deception later on.