Sunday, February 05, 2006

No limit on proving paternity in Ohio

Ohio news:
The Ohio Supreme Court upheld a state law Wednesday that gives men unlimited time to use DNA proof that they are not biological fathers, which means they could stop paying child support.

Previously, men had one year to challenge support orders with DNA. The law removing the time limit, enacted by the General Assembly in 2000, was challenged by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Office.

Thousands of the 685,000 child support orders in Ohio could be overturned, sending mothers and child support enforcement agencies searching for the real fathers. ...

Former State Rep. Peter Lawson Jones, a Shaker Heights Democrat, sponsored the bill five years ago.

"I feel great," he said Wednesday, after learning of the Supreme Court's unanimous ruling. "No man should be forced to pay for children that are not his. It's just pure, unadulterated common sense."

It's not that simple, said Gallagher and her colleague Timothy Spackman.

The law doesn't allow judges to consider the overriding concern in Juvenile and Domestic Relations courts -- the best interests of children, they said.

"I've been involved in a case where the boy was a Junior," Gallagher said. "It's heartbreaking. It's to hell with the kids.' "

Spackman added: "I've been involved in cases where teenage kids ended up in psychiatric hospitals" after they learned the man they called dad was not their biological father.
Heartbreaking? Maybe so, but why blame the man who is not even the father. It is the mother who betrays her husband, is sexually unfaithful, lies to her man and her child, and finally commits paternity fraud by falsely claiming that she knows the man to be the father and suing him for a quarter of his income. It is the mother who should be jailed.

Florida is more typical:
Florida's paternity law requires men to obey the original court orders. Fathers must be current on their support payments before they are eligible to have them lifted with a DNA test of non-paternity. There are no refunds.
So if the man doesn't pay because he can prove his innocense, then Florida makes him pay anyway. If the mother commits paternity fraud, then she gets to keep whatever she can collect.


eponcz said...

"If the mother commits paternity fraud, then she gets to keep whatever she can collect."

This seems to over-look the basic idea that the payments are not supposed to be hers, rather they are for the children. The sad truth is that it is possible that the support payments may not be used for supporting the kids, however, it should not be overlooked that the children are really the victims here. It is unfortunate that the men who turn out not to be fathers have supported children who biologically were not their's (although, theoretically could have been), but it is even more unfortunate when the victims in the situation -- the children -- are ignored.

It seems that there are many injustices here -- but let's not forget the kids!

Anonymous said...

That sounds all well and good but what about the bio fathers who have overlooked THEIR children.

Let them pay. Unfaithful wives should not be rewarded and believe me, they'd start looking up bio daddy REAL quick when the money got tight.

George said...

Forget the kids?! If a mother robs a bank, would Eponcz say that she should get to keep the money because she might spend it on the kids?

If Eponcz really believes in children's rights, then I'll look forward to her arguing on her blog for the right to see both parents.

Anonymous said...

"...and believe me, they'd start looking up bio daddy REAL quick when the money got tight."

It gets worse.... I have a friend who never knew that the woman that he had had a relationship with was pregnant when SHE left him for another man who she soon-after married and had a baby with. 12 years later, after zero communication with this woman since she broke his heart, he gets summoned into court in another state suing him for 12 years back-pay on child support for a child he never knew he had. He was ordered to take a paternity test, and found out that indeed the almost teenage girl was his biological daughter. Turns out, the woman left the other guy too, after 10 years, and then found out by reading something on the internet, that she could sue the bio-dad for back child support, even though he never had the opportunity to participate in this childs life AND the child was taken care of for 10 years by another man. The court ordered in favor of the woman, and my friend now owes this con-artist tens of thousands of dollars. How does the child benefit? Does anyone truelly believe that a mother as callous as that is going to spend enough of the bio-dad's back-pay money on her child to improve the childs life enough to compensate the harm done. Extra money without working for it is nice to have, but when will the courts realize that there are other factors in a child's life that are even more important to their well-being. Her world at age 12 is turned upside down. If the mother wasn't so greedy/cruel, the girl and the man who raised her would forever believe that they were father and daughter. Now the child has the trauma of not knowing what to believe and has a stranger in her life with a very emotionally confusing role. My friend was literally robbed from knowing and experiencing a potentially loving and beautiful relationship with his daughter from birth. Anyone with children knows how precious those first few years are - priceless. If he had known about the child, he would have been an active father physically, financially, emotionally, spiritually. The system should be that he could sue her for the emotional damages of robbing him of an irreplaceable relationship. The woman should be faced with charges of child endangerment for dropping this emotional bomb on her daughter after 12 years just because she figured out a way to make some extra money without going back to work after her divorce. (Apparently, she also gets alimony from her ex-husaband and some child-support. And to be clear, she left him because she was "unhappy" in the marriage, NOT for any reasons of abuse to her or her child!) The blaring injustice of the system makes me so frustrated!!!!

Anonymous said...

If eponcz is concerned about children's rights, she'd do some research concerning HOW child support payments are being spent.

I believe, since new legislation is being discussed, how about some new legislation requiring custodial parents who receive child support payments having to itemize how the money is being spent.

Until then, it's Mommy support. And sometimes boyfriend support.

George said...

These stories are amazing.