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NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

March 1st, 2012 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
The West Virginia Senate passed Senate Bill 51 yesterday.  If enacted into law, it would allow a judge to deny spousal support to a woman who bore a child fathered by a man not her husband.  It would do the same to a husband who fathered a child by a woman other than his wife.

Here’s the text of the bill.

Interestingly, the bill is the brainchild of Sean Keefe about whom I wrote here.  Back in May of last year, Keefe was doing time in a West Virginia jail for contempt of court.  That’s because he flatly refused to comply with a court order to pay his ex spousal support.  It seems they had a child whom Keefe raised as his own and believed he had fathered.  But, divorce came along and with it DNA testing which proved Keefe wasn’t the father.

The judge ordered him to pay child support which Keefe gladly did.  It didn’t matter to Keefe who the child’s father was; he’d raised him and he wasn’t about to abandon his parental responsibilities just because the child didn’t share his genes. 

But Keefe drew the line at paying alimony to a woman who had been so dishonest with him as to (a) have an extramarital affair and (b) keep him in the dark about the child’s paternity.  So when the judge told him to pay alimony, Keefe said “no.”  For that he went to jail and vowed to stay there until the order was rescinded.

But he didn’t stop there.  Keefe started pushing to amend West Virginia law to allow a judge to deny spousal support to anyone who commits adultery from which a child is born.  That is SB 51 and it passed the state Senate yesterday by a vote of 34-0. 

It now goes to the House of Delegates where it starts in the Judiciary Committee.  That committee is chaired by delegate Tim Miley whose telephone number is 304-340-3252.  His email address is [email protected].

By all means call or email Mr. Miley.  Sean Keefe’s bill won’t put an end to paternity fraud and it won’t make spousal support laws reasonable, but it’ll do a little bit of both. 

As I said in my first piece about Keefe, he’s a stand-up guy.  He’s not someone to speak or act idly.  When he says something, he means it, whether it’s supporting a child who’s not even biologically his, going to jail for his beliefs or ramming a change in the law through the legislature, Sean Keefe means business.

Give me a thousand like him and we’d win this war in no time.

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