Is it the husband’s child or a “stranger’s.”
A paternity test will determine who exactly is the three-year-old’s father, after the B.C. Court of Appeal upheld a judge’s decision to order a DNA test.
The case involves a Campbell River couple and another man who are only known by their initials in the court document.
In 2003, N.L.W. and G.R.W. were married and then separated in April 2008.
Soon after the separation, the woman became involved in a sexual relationship with the other man, known as R.J.P.
However, by that September, the separated couple began talking about a possible reconciliation and then resumed their sexual relationship in October.
In December, the woman found out she was pregnant.
By July 2009, the couple were back together and in September, a child was born.
The woman believes the real father is her husband and that she was no longer having sex with R.J.P. when she conceived.
However, the trial judge ruled otherwise, stating it was his belief the woman was having intercourse with both men in December 2008.
Shortly after the child was born, R.J.P. applied for joint guardianship, joint custody and access to the child, and also offered to pay child support.
The couple opposed his applications in supreme court, portraying him as a “stranger” who was trying to disrupt their family.
They also said the paternity test would detrimentally affect their family and, in particular, the child.
But the judge ruled that R.J.P., even though he is a stranger to the child, has a right to find out if he’s the father.
As well, the application was for a DNA test and nothing more, and if he did turn out to be the father, he would have to make further court applications regarding access and custody.
The couple appealed the judgement, but last month, following a hearing in Vancouver, the B.C. Court of Appeal upheld the decision to order a DNA test.