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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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Texas man faces child support bill despite not being the father

If any question arises relating to paternity within a family, it can be easily resolved with a DNA test. After a paternity test, it can be determined whether a man is the birth father of a child and whether he is responsible for supporting the child. An unusual case in Texas is illustrating a rare exception to this rule. The man has been determined not to be the father, but still may be held accountable for child support payments. 

The man, who is now married and raising children of his own, got a notice from a deputy saying that he had a child that he was previously unaware of and that the mother of that child was seeking child support. The child is now 16 years of age, and back payments for her support total $65,000. Upon receipt of the court papers, he decided to get a DNA test. When the test proved that he was not the father, he thought he was in the clear, but as it turns out, the case is a little more complicated. 

In 2003, the 16-year-old ex-girlfriend and her mother went to court and asserted that the man was the only possible father of the child. The state started assessing child support payments at the time. Court records suggest the man was subpoenaed, but do not prove it. The woman's lawyer claims that child support was taken from the man's paychecks long ago and that he never fought it.

Unless the Texas man can get a judge to take another look at his case, there is nothing, including the DNA test, that can change the child support order and he will end up owing the money. This case demonstrates why it is important to never ignore a child support claim, as the consequences do not go away, then just continue to grow. Individuals facing similar issues may wish to consult with an attorney early on, as soon as they become aware of any potential issues, to avoid complications and to ensure a suitable resolution of the case. 

Source: abc7news.com, "Court claims man who isn't father of child still owes child support payments", Ted Oberg, July 22, 2017

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