I discovered through 23andMe that my daughter is not mine — can I claim back child support from the biological father? – Market Watch December 12, 2019

Standard Disclaimer:

I am not an attorney and any comments I post are not intended, nor should they be construed, as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please consult a legal expert who is familiar with the area of legal expertise you need.

I saw this today on Market Watch – I discovered through 23andMe that my daughter is not mine — can I claim back child support from the biological father?: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/i-discovered-through-23andme-that-my-daughter-is-not-mine-can-i-claim-back-child-support-from-the-biological-father-2019-12-09.

I will start this with my standard disclaimer above. However, having paid child support for my daughter for 16 years when she was younger, I learned a lot about the child support system in Kansas. While there are some differences in other states, there are plenty of similarities. In an interesting twist, I overpaid child support for 5 months due to her mother getting paid twice during those months and I wasn’t aware of it when it happened.  When Child Support Enforcement notified me I was in violation of paying child support, I asked if my ex had informed them where the payments were now coming from. The worker said no; after checking the system, she realized I was not in violation. I then asked about getting refunded the double payments. Basically, the worker said I could sue my ex, but there was no guarantee the court would take my side even though they should . Plus, the worker indicated getting a judgment wouldn’t necessarily mean I would receive the money. If I thought my ex had done a decent job of using the extra money, I wouldn’t have a problem with her keeping it. I didn’t feel like wasting the money on an attorney as I would be out that money in addition to the money lost due to the overpayments.

I don’t agree with some of the arguments made by Quentin. Starting with the dead beat Dad didn’t know he was the father. I assure you if someone claimed I fathered their child 27+ years and court-ordered DNA testing proved the child was mine, I would be on the hook for back support for at least 18 years, possibly longer if the child went to college. It wouldn’t matter that I did not know the child was mine. Another point – unlike most other debts, child support has no expiration date in many, possibly all, states so the fact that the statute of limitations had passed wouldn’t save me from having to pay back child support.

Before the advent of cheap DNA testing for genealogy purposes, I could demand a DNA test, but if the court ordered DNA test showed I was the father, then I would have to pay the cost of the DNA test which often runs around $500. If the test showed I wasn’t the father, they would often go after the mother to pay for the test. While 23andMe or any other genetic genealogical DNA test wouldn’t hold up in court, it would help me decide if I need to request a court-ordered DNA test. After all, if the test showed the child was mine, there is no sense in requesting a court-ordered DNA test. In some states, it wouldn’t matter as a small number of states dictate any children conceived during a marriage are presumed to be the father’s children and that doesn’t change because a court ordered DNA test proves otherwise. Some other states would allow DNA testing to absolve me from owing child support if the child wasn’t mine.

In terms of the points made about the case being about the child, I think he hits it spot on. My daughter has not DNA tested, but if she did and it turned out I was not her father, a very unlikely event, I would still consider her my daughter as she’s been in my life for a large part of my life and all of her life. That’s not going to change because DNA showed she isn’t biologically my child.

About ICT Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. Let's collaborateDealspotr.com
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