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Magill v Magill: Families and deceit

Young, L. and Shaw, S. (2005) Magill v Magill: Families and deceit. Australian Journal of Family Law, 19 (1). 44- 56.

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There is a long legal tradition of presuming paternity regardless of any biological evidence of the fact. Of course, the common law presumption as to paternity is only the flip side of the legitimacy presumption, and it has been the latter that, in the past, attracted greater legal notice. The presumption of legitimacy arising from marriage brought with it considerable advantage for the child concerned and certainty for the father, at least in regard to the disposition of his assets. With the modern erosion of the significance of legitimacy, and the redefinition, and greater enforcement, of obligations of parents to support their children, it is now paternity, rather than legitimacy, which is of paramount legal significance. One complex legal question which has arisen in recent years in relation to paternity is whether a man can use the tort of deceit to sue the mother of a child who has misled him as to paternity, where paternity is later disestablished.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Law
Publisher: LexisNexis
Copyright: LexisNexis
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