Simon Cowell, the rich and well-known show business figure, is embroiled in a scandalous love triangle with his former best friend's wife. This is complicated! The wife is pregnant with Simon's child, conceived while she was married to her wealthy husband of 10 years.
The former couple has a prenuptial agreement.which allegedly pays the wife millions of dollars if the marriage ends. The couple has a young son together. The prenuptial contract kicked in with generous benefits for the wife after 10 years of marriage. You can guess the rest:The wife waited until the 10 year anniversary to announce her infidellty, thus insuring that she receives the big bucks.
This about to be ex-husband and ex-wife live in New York. The husband in the middle of this triangle has now filed for divorce in New York charging the wife with adultery. . He is seeking custody of their son.
New York law is not aplicable to Illinois law but what would happen if this steamy romance involved an Illinois marriage?
We refer to these cases as, "parentage," cases. The former term, "paternity," is still in use as well. The test for paternity was a blood type test. Today, thanks to James Watson and Sir Francis Crick (whom I met when he visited my college), the gold standard parentage test is now DNA. Blood is not required for the test. Any kind of bodily fluid or body cells could be used. Most often, cheek cell samples are used because of the convenience of obtaining samples from the mother, father and child. A long swab is swiped in the throat to obtain a sample of DNA from the mother, child and the suspected father.
Illinois, as most states, presumes that the child born to married parents is presumed to be the child of both parents. In other words, the husband is the presumed father until proven otherwise. There are many cases where the wife has an affair during the marriage but does not know if the father is her husband or her paramour. Sometimes the child bears a striking resemblance to the lover which makes the husband suspicious.
The boyfriend may wonder if he is the father and try to determine whether he is the parent. The law requires the putative (meaning suspected) father to file a Petition to Determine Parentage in Domestic Relations Court within two years after he learns of the situation. The parties could agree to a declaration of paternity naming the boyfriend as the natural father but only after the husband has been determined to not be the father by court order.
There may be a custody fight between the mother and the biological father. There could be a custody fight by the married couple against the boyfriend if they have chosen to continue to raise the child as their own. The legal web which has to be untangled is as messy as the underlying tryst. This is not a do-it-yourself project. If you are involved in a situation like this, get a lawyer!