Bizarre child support ruling for non-parent

On behalf of Loughmiller Higgins, Attorneys at Law posted in Child Support on Tuesday, March 5, 2013.

Texas readers may be aware of a recent East Coast child support ruling that has made headlines across the nation. The ruling came at the conclusion of a child support hearing involving a man who has been genetically cleared of parenting a child to whom he owes back child support. He found himself in court due to the nearly $23,000 in unpaid back child support.

The case has captured the attention of parents across the nation due to the fact that the man has been genetically proven not to be the child’s father. However, he signed the birth certificate at the time of the child’s birth, leaving him legally responsible for child support payments, no matter the results of the DNA test. The judge in the case made a ruling that suggests a sympathetic approach to the man’s plight.

The non-parent will still have to meet a monthly child support payment. However, the amount of that payment is listed as one dollar per month. At that rate, the man could expect to fulfill his child support obligation in approximately 1,917 years.

This case demonstrates the wide range of child support issues that come before family courts in Texas and elsewhere. Judges who hear these cases must interpret and apply existing laws as they deem appropriate. However, they also have the ability to impose sentencing that they feel is equally appropriate. In this case, the man was able to make a clear and compelling legal argument concerning his non-parent status, which led to a ruling that sends a loud message to all fathers who are in doubt about the paternity of their children.

Source: NBC12.com, “Judge orders $1 a month in child support for the next 1000+ year,” Yvette Yeon, Feb. 27, 2013

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