‘My one night stand is still costing me.’
That was the headline of a recent story for News Corp, about a man named Patrick, who met a woman on Facebook in 2010, slept with her, and found out 12 weeks later she was pregnant. “There’s something seriously wrong with this outdated system,” he said, referring to the child support he was ordered to pay for a son he’s never met. “I’ve given up.”
The story was told with the aim of showing that Australian law, which requires a biological father pay child support until a child is 18, is flawed.
“I felt like she’d planned it,” Patrick said, referring to the moment his one night stand told him she was pregnant.
Patrick thinks current child support schemes don’t make sense in “modern society where many relationships don’t last”. He doesn’t believe he should be paying for this child. He says a huge number of second relationships fail because of the pressure of child support issues.
Now, consider Jenny.
Jenny is an anecdote – I haven’t sighted legal documents that support Jenny’s story, and Jenny isn’t here to tell her story in her own words.
But we all know a Jenny.
Listen: This single mum teaches women to get smart about money. Post continues after audio.
Jenny was married in her late twenties and had four children. When her youngest was two, her partner left. Let’s call him Bob. Bob entered a relationship with another woman.