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Fathers upset over child support orders for children not theirs

For the most part, when a man becomes a father, it is through biological means or legal adoption. In these cases, when a divorce or other relationship breakdown occurs, the non-custodial parent is ordered by the family courts to pay child support. In California, it is rare that there is a mistake in these orders, however, there are situations where the courts issue these orders without proof that a man who is ordered to pay these monies is the legal father.

Unfortunately, not every man is afforded the opportunity to offer proof that he is not the legal parent of a child. Recently, a forum was held in another state where there is a "dad by default" law. In this state, men are purportedly served with a notice that they will be ordered to pay support and are given a window of time to provide evidence as to why they may not be legally responsible for support. Additionally, if a man is married to a woman and is not the father of the children in the family, he is nonetheless held responsible for providing for those children.

Several men spoke about the consequences that the law has had in their lives. One man discovered that he was not, in fact, the biological parent of two of the children his wife bore. Regardless, the court upheld the support request. Another man spoke of not being served notice though a process server allegedly did so at a home he did not reside in at the time. Other men had paternity results that proved they were not the parent of the child but missed a hearing for one reason or another.

A state congressman has authored several pieces of legislation he hopes will provide relief for men who are unjustly ordered to provide child support. Furthermore, he hopes to protect children who may be the victim of these fraudulent claims. California parents who believe that they are not legally obliged to pay support, or are struggling in other family law related matters, can seek the advice of an attorney who can provide knowledgeable assistance.

Source: abc15.com, "Men outraged over paying child support for kids who are not theirs", Kim Russell, Feb. 23, 2017

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