Unplanned Pregnancy Puts Man In A Bind

Dear Tazi:

Several months ago, I met a woman online (I'll call her "Cindy") and we hit it off really well; so we decided to meet in person. One thing led to another and we ended up having sex on our first date. Since I could never have a relationship with a woman of such loose morals, I chose not to see her again. (I realize this sounds like a double standard, but she initiated it). Shortly after this incident, Cindy called me to tell me that she was pregnant and that it was mine. I obviously have no proof of this, and for all I know she could have slept with a dozen guys that week; but Cindy insists I was the one, so I accepted her at her word and let her know that I support a woman's right to choose; which everyone knows is a euphemism meaning I would be willing to pay for half of the cost of an abortion. At least, I thought that's what everyone knew.

Upon hearing that I supported her right to choose Cindy told me she needed some time to think about what she wanted to do, and a few weeks later she called me back and told me that she had decided to keep the baby. When I told her that I did not want to have a child with her and demanded that she take care of the problem, she told me she was "exercising her right to choose". We argued, and I hung up on her and had my phone number changed. This week, I received a letter from an attorney demanding child support for the baby that I made very clear I did not want. Somehow, using whatever tactics these slime-ball lawyers use, the man found my home address and my employer information and is threatening to have my wages garnished if I do not agree to some sort of child support agreement.

Tazi, is this even legal? The man obviously invaded my personal privacy to track me down, and is now attempting to force me to agree to pay 25% of my (net) income "to avoid the inconvenience of going to court" and "the embarrassment of garnished wages". I am tempted to let this slut take me to court just so I can tell the judge my side of the story, but my friends have advised otherwise; saying that a court judgement could end up costing me an even larger percentage of my paycheck. What do you think I should do?

Signed,
Stuck With The Wrong Choice


Dear Stuck With The Wrong Choice:

Is the "wrong choice' to which you refer the choice you made to engage in unprotected sexual intercourse with a woman you barely knew? Or was the wrong choice the decision you made to blow off the mother of your child, hoping that she would just go away and forget the baby that you and she created together? 

Whether or not you wanted to pursue a relationship with Cindy or have a child with her was a decision that was removed from your hands the moment you removed something else from your pants. Nobody expects a one-night-stand to have such long-term consequences, but the possibility is there. You played a game of sexual Russian roulette and lost - now, you have to man up and accept the consequences of your actions. 

My bigger concern is your belief that a woman's "right to choose" is a euphemism for offering to pay for half of the cost for an abortion. If that is the case, a woman's body and reproductive rights are still not her own; but something to be controlled by a man, which is a chilling thought. Cindy chose to keep the baby, knowing that her life would change - in some ways for the better, in others for the worse. Whether or not you choose to involve yourself in the life of your child is your business; but the responsibility of providing fair financial support is not a choice - it is a legal obligation, and an offer of 25% of your net income is a very generous offer, indeed. If I were you, I would jump at this opportunity because from the tone of your letter I find it difficult to believe that a judge would be sympathetic to your "side of the story". However, I would first demand a paternity test - but then, I am sure that you have already done that.

As an aside, you should also know that in this day and age, Cindy's attorney would not have to "invade" your privacy to find out your personal information - a visit to your Facebook page could tell him all he needed to know; a search on MyLife.com would give him even more information; and a copy of your IP address (which would have been stored in Cindy's computer under her Internet history) would also provide the personal information he needed to find you. 

-- Tazi

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.  Write to Tazi-Kat by email at tazikat@yahoo.com or via www.asktazi.com.

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