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Posts Tagged ‘Paternity fraud laws’

Paternity Fraud – Still An Issue

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 12:09 PM
Thursday, July 26, 2012

In 2007 Bert Riddick escaped a child-support order for a girl he says he has never met and has proof that he is not her father.  Thanks to a 2004 California Law.  Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill to allow men to challenge the paternity of children for whom they owe support.  A similar law came before Governor Davis in 2002 but he chose to veto it. In explaining his veto, Davis said that if AB 2240 became law the state might not meet federal requirements on collecting child-support payments, putting California at risk of losing $40 million in federal funds.

After Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the new bill into law Carnell Smith, founder of the U.S. Citizens Against Paternity Fraud based out of Decatur, GA stated, “It’s well overdue.”  His orgonization counts California as the 24th state with some type of “paternity fraud” law.  The California law will help thousands of men who have been assigned child support orders “by default,” as well as men who signed “confessions of paternity” said Mr. Smith.  This is a personal issue for Mr. Smith, who successfully lobbied for a “paternity fraud” law in Georgia after discovering he was paying for a child he did not father.

California’s new law sets time limits on paternity challenges like many other paternity fraud laws. In California Men can file protests within two years of being ordered to pay child support or within two years of the child’s birth.

Men such as Mr. Riddick, who have known for years they are supporting someone else’s child, also will now be able to challenge their child-support orders under the law.

Advocates said that, the California law passed the Legislature with virtually unanimous support because it was a compromise bill.  A stronger “paternity fraud” bill had been offered in the state Senate, according to lawyer Marc Angelucci, a leader of the National Coalition of Free Men. However, the Senate bill, was opposed by California child- support officials as well as feminist groups who viewed it as a “get-out-of-jail-free card.”

There has been a growing sence of alarmed between Feminist and child-support groups concerning the growing support for what they refer to as the paternity “disestablishment.” They argue that biology is not always paramount in family relationships, and ending established support for a child is rarely in the child’s best interest.

Stories like Mr. Riddick’s are not uncommon.  He stated that he was assigned a child support payment by default after an ex-girlfriend named him the father of her child. Mr. Riddick said he found out he wasn’t the father in 1996 two years after the child support order went into effect when he was arrested as “a deadbeat dad.” The criminal-court judge ordered DNA testing for Mr. Riddick, the mother and the child. “It showed I had a 0 percent chance of being the father of this child,” he said.

The criminal-court judge threw out the charge, but when Mr. Riddick tried to get his child- support order overturned in civil court, state officials refused.  ”They said the criminal court case had nothing to do with the civil case and I would still have to pay child support for 18 years,” Mr. Riddick said. “And I’ve never even seen this kid.”

While many states have started to enact paternity fraud laws and allow men to challenge paternity not all do.  You need to know your states individual paternity laws and seek help if you find your self in over your head.

 

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