How do I punish my abusive father

FAMILY: Apparent husband insists on paternity

FAMILY: Apparent husband insists on paternity

A Swiss recognizes the son of his Kosovar mock wife. The authorities are contesting paternity - and now the father has to go to the forced DNA test. The right of the mother and her son to stay is at stake.

The request fluttered into the house last Thursday: A 66-year-old Swiss from Winterthur has to appear at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Zurich for a forced DNA test. The goal: The city of Winterthur wants to find out whether the man is actually the father of a seven-year-old boy. If he is not, there is a threat of deprivation of paternity - with potentially drastic consequences. The child could lose Swiss citizenship and his Kosovar mother, who has been in Switzerland for 17 years, could lose her residence permit - the two of them are threatened with deportation.

The migration authorities wanted to expel the 37-year-old Kosovar from the country once before. The reason: She had had a marriage of convenience with the aforementioned, 29 years older Winterthur, as the Zurich administrative court found. For example, in August 2009, just two months after she had received the residence permit, she initiated the divorce. She only became pregnant after this "separation"; the son, recognized by the ex-sham, was born on September 18, 2010. The biological father is considered to be a Kosovar.

The federal court stopped the deportation. It argued that the Swiss child could not be punished for the abusive behavior of their foreign mother.

A court decides on paternity around 200 times a year. As a rule, men who deny paternity turn to the judiciary to avoid child support payments. The present case, which according to experts is special, is different: A man, presumably not the biological father, has recognized the son of his ex-bogus wife - in the eyes of the authorities in order to give her the right to stay with the child's Swiss passport.

In February 2014, the District Court of Winterthur ordered a DNA test. The father, who suffers from cancer, refused and was fined 200 francs for disobedience to an official order. The Federal Supreme Court ruled in October that a DNA test to clarify biological paternity may, if necessary, be enforced under duress, i.e. with the help of the police.

But can someone else, who is perhaps not the biological father at all, claim paternity? “In principle, every man can recognize a child who has no father as his. The law does not prescribe any evidence for this, such as a DNA test, ”says Caterina Nägeli, the 66-year-old's lawyer. Should the DNA test show that he is not the birth father, he will still insist on maintaining paternity - with reference to the child's interests.

Maintenance contributions of 100 francs per month

In the specific case, the district court of Winterthur will have to examine whether the man has a sufficiently close relationship with the child that there is social paternity. The courts have so far denied this. For example, the Zurich Higher Court held that the 66-year-old did visit the boy, he took care of him from time to time and knew when he had learned to swim and ride a bike. However, he does not take on any fixed care times, does not know the son's favorite food or book and did not know that he would have to go to an emergency because of stomach and leg pain. He doesn't cook for the boy, he doesn't sleep with him either. And the monthly maintenance contribution of 100 francs is low.

Nägeli criticizes this “negative” portrayal. “My client is committed to taking care of his son, goes for walks with him, goes on excursions, the son calls him 'Dad', he doesn't know anyone else,” says Nägeli. The authorities never asked the boy about his relationship with the father and never visited the two of them to get an idea of ​​the situation. You don't deny paternity to a divorced man just because he only sees his child every two weeks. And because of his cancer, the father is not able to pay higher maintenance contributions.

For Nägeli it is clear: "It is contrary to the best interests of the child to take their father away from them, to expatriate them and, if necessary, to expel the country together with the mother." The boy was socialized and schooled in Switzerland, he has his friends here.

It will be a long time, however, before the Migration Office may have to decide on deportation. If the authorities actually deny paternity, the man will investigate further legal remedies.

Kari Kälin