A woman has recently been Ordered to repay her former husband £100,000.00 in maintenance and costs.

The man believed that he was the father of a child born to her as a result of IVF treatment.  In reality however, the woman had been impregnated with the sperm of her ex-boyfriend.  The Judge found the woman to be guilty of “deliberate fraudulent misrepresentation”.

Over a period of six years she had lead the man to believe that he was the child’s father.

The man did not know the truth of the situation until he had spent £80,000.00 in maintenance and spent time caring for the child whilst his mother was at work.

The couple  divorced  and three years after the divorce the man asked for increased contact with the child.  It was at this point that his ex-wife admitted that he was not the father of the child and this was later confirmed by DNA tests.

The man claimed damaged for deceit, distress and humiliation, maintenance paid and compensation for loss of earnings.

The Judge awarded him £40,000.00 to cover the impact of six years deception plus £60,000.00 costs.  The man did not recover all the child maintenance he had paid because the Judge said he has had the enjoyment of the child when he believed him to be his son.

This case is thought to be the first of its kind and is remarkable, not only in terms of the financial impact of the deception but also in human terms.  It cannot be imagined what impact it had on the child when he discovered that the man he had had a loving relationship with as his father, was then substituted by another man.  The child is now 9.  The man hopes that when the boy is 18 he looks for his natural father so that he can show him how much he loves him and the child can be part of his family life again.

If you need any guidance or advice on IVF or any family matter please contact the family team at Ringrose Law Solicitors, at one of our offices across Lincolnshire and Newark.

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