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Non-dad Must Pay Child Support

We have all heard of deadbeat dads, but what about a non-deadbeat non-dad? At his blog May it Please the Court, J. Craig Williams comments on the case of a Florida man who learned too late he was not the father of the son he thought was his. As originally reported in The Christian Science Monitor, through a DNA test 16 months after his divorce, Richard Parker learned that someone else had fathered the 3-year-old boy. Facing court-ordered child-support payments of $1,200 a month for 15 years, he immediately turned to the courts, claiming fraud by his wife. His case took him all the way to the Florida Supreme Court, which issued its decision in February in Parker v. Parker. Williams tells what happened:

"The Florida justices ruled 7-0 against Richard Parker. The Court ruled Parker must continue to pay $1,200 a month in child support. Parker's child support payments will total more than $200,000 over 15 years to support another man's child. Unfortunately, however, Florida has a one-year statute of limitations to prove fraud after a divorce, and Parker didn't file in time."

Is this the correct result, Williams asks, or should the biological father pay for the child's support? For Parker, the question may still be more than academic. The Monitor reports that the Florida Legislature last year passed a law that allows men to use newly discovered paternity evidence to overturn a court order to pay support for someone else's child. Supporters of the law see it as a major step toward justice for deceived ex-husbands, the Monitor reports, but critics say it poses a potential danger to the well-being of mothers and children.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on April 23, 2007 at 06:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)


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