Husband Thought Wife Was Cheating When Traveling for Work (Full Episode) | Paternity Court

You may be seated. Hello, Your Honor. Hello. This is the case of
Strickland v. Strickland.
Thank you Jerome.
Good day everyone. AUDIENCE: Good day. Miss Strickland, you have
brought your husband to court to prove he is
the biological father of your four-year-old
daughter, Nancy. You say your marriage is
strained and claim positive
paternity results will save your relationship.
Is that correct? Yes, Your Honor. Mr. Strickland, you say
you need today’s results because your relationship
can’t continue down the path you’re on. So, Miss Strickland, why are
today’s results so important and how has this all
affected your marriage? It’s affected my marriage
in the fact that my husband and I argue a lot. We have problems with trust and it’s very difficult
for me,because I love him with
all my heart
and I would never do anything
to betray his trust, ever.
I need these results
to prove to him
that this is his little girl.
This is his daughter. So, this marriage can’t
withstand a negative result. No Your Honor, I don’t
think it could. JUDGE LAKE: Mr. Strickland? Yes, Your Honor. Tell the court how
this is affecting you. Well, it’s caused a lot
of stress in my life. I’ve had issues with trust.
I’ve had issues with people
cheating on me. I got with her and I thought
it was completely different. And just…
One thing after another,
it was… Things showing me that,
“Can I trust her?” Take me back to how you met. We met online,
on a dating site and… We talked on there for
probably six or seven months. And then, I got her phone
number called her, talked
for a while, and we were really
good friends, we stayed
best friends. We tried dating
at that point in time. Unfortunately, I was in
a bad relationship. I was in a
bad marriage and so was she. And it wasn’t working at that. We just…
We remained friends. We remained friends
for five years, and then, from there
it was… You know, I had given
her a ring. I gave her my family ring. It was like everything
just blew up inside of me. I was happy, I was thrilled,
I was happy I was around her
again. Miss Strickland, how did
you feel when you first met? (SIGHS) I felt like
I found my best friend. I found a part of my soul
that had been missing. My children loved him,
I loved him and I still do. I mean it sounds like
when you all met you
felt like you had found the person that you
belonged to. How did we get here? It was difficult, um,
my parents had taken
my children for 11 months, while I was trying to
obtain a home for us in a new city. And, I was looking for a job. And in the 11 months,
I went back and forth
from where we were living in Dyersburg to Memphis,
back and forth. And in that time,
it created jealousy issues. He thought that maybe I was
seeing other people, while I was going down
to Memphis to see my children. JUDGE LAKE: Did you think
that, Mr. Strickland? When she first started
going out there, I really didn’t because
I was able to go with her. And then, all of a sudden,
it was… Didn’t want me there no more. And so, I figured, you know, something’s going on.
This is wrong. So, you started to feel
shunned? Yeah, I started
to feel shunned by it, and then all of a sudden
it was a change
in her attitude. A change in the way
she was acting towards me. And so, what happened when
she told you she was pregnant? Oh, I was thrilled. You were? I was happy as can be. But, after about the first
couple of months, it started
to wear off, because I started
doing the calculations of when she was pregnant and you know we had tried
for over a year to get
pregnant. And then, all of a sudden,
we decided we’re not going
to try no more. We’re tired of trying. If it happens, it happens. And then, a very short
period of time after that,
she’s pregnant. And that was right at the time
when she started to travel? That was, yeah, that was
probably near the end
of the time she was starting to travel. JUDGE LAKE: Okay. Um… She had gone over there
and she’d been to Memphis
for about maybe a week. And it was kind of rough, because, you know, of course
I missed her, I loved her. And when she got back,
it was… The same thing as before,
she didn’t want me around her,
she didn’t want me near her. You know, it was like
something was missing. JUDGE LAKE:
So, Miss Strickland,
did you shun him? No Your Honor,
it was never intended to shun
Mr. Strickland. He pulled back from being
affectionate towards
my stomach. He would talk to my belly
while I was pregnant. He would ignore my belly
for a few days and then he’d talk and then it just seemed
like he was pulling back
from not only me, but from my other
two children. And at the time,
Mr. Strickland, are you helping her
through the pregnancy?
Are you supporting her? Going to doctor’s
appointments? How are you handling this
knowing you have doubt? There is a possibility
this is my child. I was going to be a man
about it and be a father
to this child. JUDGE LAKE:
So, the baby is born. Were you there? Yes, Your Honor. And then, did you sign
the birth certificate? Yes, Your Honor. And, I actually have
some exhibits about that. I had some issues with that. Oh, I’d like to see. Please, step over
to the exhibit. When they first brought
the birth certificate in,
I had signed the paperwork. They refused it, because me and her
were not legally married. She was still legally
married to her ex-husband. Oh! So, they brung in the second
birth certificate. She requested to have
her maiden name put on it. Okay. Um… They said there wasn’t
a problem with that. She signs the paperwork,
they send it off, wait in the mail
for it to come in. And all of a sudden, we’re sitting there with the
mail and we get the birth
certificate, and I am happy, thinking okay
she’s gonna have her maiden
name but I can deal with that. And then, I see the birth
certificate, and this is
what I see. I see that she refused
the information. Oh, it says, “Mother refused
information.” (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS) Under father’s name. Correct. What happened,
Miss Strickland? When I asked what the
problem was, they said the last name
had to be different. It had to be changed. That it could… Whose last name? Uh, our daughter. Okay. Her last name
had to be changed. It couldn’t be his last name
because we are not legally
married. JUDGE LAKE: And you were
legally married to someone
else at the time? Yes, Your Honor. So that person was presumed
to be the father? Yes, Your Honor. But, Nancy’s now
four years old. HOLLY:Yes, Your Honor.JUDGE LAKE:Have you done
anything to change her name?
I have tried, Your Honor, yes. What happened? JASON: No. You say she has not? She tells me repeatedly
she has, but I don’t think she has…
I decided to do a little research myself. She’s told me that she
tried to… She’s contacted case
workers, she’s contacted
the courts. Well, I decided to contact
the court myself, and I found out I literally
could walk in there and within six months
have it done. All I had to do…
I can file a petition
for the court, for a paternity test. Once it was situated and it
was proven whether I was the
father or not, I go to the county clerk
and pay my money, and it was nothing to it, because at that point
in time, they order a new
birth certificate, within a few weeks,
it comes in. It wouldn’t take but a few
months to get it done. It was quite simple. So, Nancy’s four. Why haven’t we gotten
this done? I actually just found out
that I can do this. I didn’t know. Have you been asking Miss
Strickland for this? I have been asking her for
four years to contact the
court system. Whose last name does
Nancy have right now? Right now, Nancy has
her ex-husband’s last name. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS) Oh. So, Nancy has her ex’s
last name? Yes, Your Honor. Why haven’t you gone
about this process? I had no idea that
this was an option. You didn’t know it was an
option to go down to the court
and change the name? What I was told was that
I would have to get my ex to deny her paternity. But my ex would not comply. He disappeared. Who does Nancy think her
biological father is? Me, I am her father. I am the only one she’s known. JUDGE LAKE:Miss Strickland,
I can see the pain in
your eyes,
how is this affecting you?My husband knows
that I love him, but he doesn’t realize that
his lack of trust affects me so harsh. I felt like this was our
last resort. To try to save this marriage? Yes, Your Honor. Because you want to be
with him? Yes, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: You want
to be a family? Yes, Your Honor. Mr. Strickland, is this
the only doubt you have? Do you have any other doubt? She had actually started
talking to a guy on the same
site we were on, that me and her met. And, I had seen the texts, I stopped that immediately. So, you saw text message
in her phone? Yes in her phone. What did the messages say? Things, talking about how
beautiful she was, how much he’d like to get
to know her, how much he’d
like to get to meet her. Were you sending text
messages to another man,
Miss Strickland? Yes, Your Honor, I did. Why? I don’t know, honestly. I wanted to be with
Mr. Strickland, but I guess it
was breaking a bad habit. In my prior marriage,
I did have a bad habit
of being unfaithful. He was unfaithful with me.
I was unfaithful with him. And so, in this marriage,
you’re just going back to
your old ways? In the beginning,
yes I did. So, have you been unfaithful
in this marriage at all? This marriage? No, Your Honor. Um, what about the pictures? That was before
we were married. That was part of
this relationship. What pictures? When she started working,
at one point in time, she was flirting around
with one of her co-workers. I seen text messages,
I asked her about them. She told me that she had
been texting him and that was it. Well, I decided to look
online and I checked out
her history, and I’d seen that she
sent pictures. I actually have those
pictures. JUDGE LAKE: I’d like to see
them. JUDGE LAKE: Jerome, could you
hand me that evidence please? JEROME: Yep. Here you are, Your Honor. Please describe to the court
what these pictures indicate. Those are pictures that
actually myself have taken. JUDGE LAKE:So, you took
the pictures?
JASON:Yes.But she sent them to
another man?
Yes, Your Honor. Oh. (AUDIENCE LAUGHS) Then, there was one picture
that she had sent that was very provocative,
that I had taken, in the privacy
of our own home. And when I found out that
she had sent the pictures, I pretty much came unglued
in that situation. I smashed the phone, I mean,
I went nuts, it made me mad. In the photo that is way
too hot for this courtroom… (AUDIENCE LAUGHING) Describe to the court
what was depicted. Her laying out on the bed,
nude. I thought it was a beautiful
picture, because it was the way the sun
came across her body. I can’t even look at that
picture anymore. Because you took a picture
of your wife, which you thought it
was for you. Your eyes only. Yes, Your Honor. And, Miss Strickland,
you sent it to another man? Yes, Your Honor,
in retaliation. JUDGE LAKE: What happened? Shortly in to Mr. Strickland
and I dating, he tells me that he wants
to go and spend the day
with a friend. I get up in the morning,
the following morning, and his phone goes off. I look at the text message,
it’s from his ex-girlfriend
saying that they had a really
great day and that she’d like to
do it again. He’d spent all day the day
before with his ex-girlfriend an instead of doing something
that foolish, I sent a picture of myself
naked to some ex-coworker. I didn’t physically spend
any time with anybody else. So you’re admitting to it? Yes, Your Honor. And you were out with
your ex-girlfriend,
Mr. Strickland. Yes, Your Honor. Alright. So, Miss Strickland, did anything else happen
with this coworker after you sent this nude
picture to him? No, Your Honor. I ended communication
a day or so later when I went back to work. So now Nancy is
four years old and this entire marriage
and relationship is on
the line.All because
of a paternity issue.
Do you believe he has
a right to have those
doubts? No, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: You don’t? I don’t. After hearing the testimony
today, Mr. Strickland, are your doubts still
as strong? They’re actually a little
stronger. Really? Realizing how easily we could have
gotten her name changed, why hasn’t she done it? I don’t have time,
I work all day. Why haven’t you done it? I mean, he’s working,
it’s $153. Ask for the DNA to start the
process. Why couldn’t you at least
gone and talk to a lawyer about it if you needed
legal help? Haven’t had the money,
Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: Okay. And so, if Mr. Strickland
is not Nancy’s biological
father, is there any way that your
ex is? No, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: No? There’s no possible way that anyone else
is Nancy’s father. I want him to know that
I’ve never been unfaithful
to him. I want him to know that our
marriage is still intact and it’s going to be
as strong as it ever
could be. When you hear your
wife say that, how do you feel,
Mr. Strickland? It hurts, because I want
to trust my wife. I want to know that
she’s faithful to me. I want to know
that Nancy’s mine. I think it’s time for
the results. Jerome. These results were prepared
by DNA diagnostics and they read as follows. In the case of
Strickland v. Strickland,
when it comes to four-year-old
Nancy Elizabeth, it has been determined
by this court Mr. Strickland, you… …are the father. (AUDIENCE CLAPPING) Are you happy to hear that? Very. JUDGE LAKE: You needed
that confirmation. Yes I did. How do you feel,
Miss Strickland? I knew he was the father,
I never had a doubt. This is a very important
moment in your marriage, because you’re
at a crossroads. I mean, quite frankly,
people get very comfortable
in dysfunction, because the nonsense just
keeps happening and you really don’t have
to do the work, because you’re just caught
up in the madness of it all. But now, you’re at a
crossroads because we have
the truth and this is your daughter. And you all have to decide
on how to raise her. Together in a marriage, or together as co-parents. But you can salvage it
if you both want. Are you both in accord
that that’s something that
you want to do? BOTH: Yes, Your Honor. Good. Court is adjourned.

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