22 August 2009

Breach of Contract -- A Prostitute and Her Baby...

This is an interesting case and a novel legal argument. However, it was ultimately futile as common sense prevailed in light of the circumstances of this particular case.

A married man who fathered a child with a prostitute, and who had been paying child support for the child, took action in the Federal Magistrates Court with the intent of having the need for the payments legally terminated.

The circumstances were pretty simple; client visits prostitute, client pays prostitute, prostitute gets pregnant and then gives birth to a child, client pays support based on informal agreement, client loses big paying job and decides he does not want to honour the informal agreement, then the prostitute sues for the support.

The legal argument was that the child was in fact a breach of the Trade Practices Act as there was an implied contract between the client and the sex worker that the sex worker would take the necessary measures required to protect themselves, in this case from pregnancy.

In determining the case the magistrate, Grant Riethmuller held that the circumstances of the child's conception makes absolutely no difference to any rights that child has to entitlements under the Child Support Scheme. Therefore, the client was ordered to continue paying child support.

4 comments:

Brett said...

Bold arguments. I'm not sure I would have been game to stand up and argue that the Trade Practices Act limits the rights of a child.

Rob Baiton said...

Brett...

I am not sure that the gist of the argument was that the TPA restricts the rights of the child. This might have been the consequence of the argument, but I think the focus really was on the consumer contract between the client and the prostitute.

Bold indeed.

GJ said...

One must assume that the DNA tests have been performed, because I think the nature of the mother's business would see ensure that there were multiple opportunities to become pregnant. Sometimes luck is just against you. Some start to life for the little tacker.
GJ

Rob Baiton said...

GJ...

"Little tacker", now there is a phrase I have not heard for a while :D

I am guessing the DNA tests were done seeing that an informal payment schedule was agreed.

The hassle for the bloke seems to have been that he was fine forking over the cash when he was on 140K a year, but when he lost his job and his salary was downsized considerably he had second thoughts.

Glad to see that the Magistrate saw the common sense of it all.