As many Texas residents may be aware, positive paternity test results are often the first step toward obtaining child support for a child whose biological father was unknown previously. At the same time, a negative result means that a man is not required to pay child support. However, the complexities of family laws in Texas are such that child support that was previously paid in error is not refunded, even if the person who was paying the child support was able to establish that he is not the father of a child. Such an incident recently occurred in Texas and may interest many parents.
According to reports, a man from Houston was ordered to pay child support for 13 years after the child’s mother named him as the child’s biological father on her daughter’s birth certificate. The man eventually requested a paternity test, and results proved that he was not the biological father of the child. However, although he was able to prove that he is not the child’s father, Texas continues to obligate him to pay the child support that he already owes, which amounts to $21,000. The man’s paychecks have been garnished for the child support, which has caused him to have financial difficulties.
Texas family laws state that once a man has been able to disprove paternity, he is not responsible for child support payments going forward. However, state laws have no provisions for the refund of child support that was paid in error. Therefore, the decision to refund the money that he has already paid for a child in the past is in the hands of the judge. Interestingly, another man from Texas faced a similar situation in 2011 and, in his case, the outstanding amount was $50,000, $13,000 of which was interest.
Child support matters are often complicated, and the court considers multiple factors before rendering a decision in a case. The reason for this is that the court wants to ensure that it has made a sound decision regarding the best interests of the child. However, such complex determinations often make the case more difficult for the parents and the children involved. In order to simplify matters while protecting the best interests of children as well as their parents, it may be a wise decision to seek legal advice to make sure that everything goes smoothly.
Source: MyFox Houston, “Forced to Pay for a Child that DNA Proves Isn’t His,” March 23, 2015