We often talk about the difficulties of paying and collecting child support. In our last post, for instance, we discussed a new law in Illinois that the governor believes will help to reduce the state's $3 billion child support backlog. One man, however, finds himself in the unusual position of having been diligent with support payments only to discover, years later, that the child is not his.
For years, the southern Illinois resident made support payments and paid for other benefits for a child he believed to be his. He says now that the mother led him to believe he was the father and convinced the court of it, as well. He was so convinced, in fact, that he waived his right to basic DNA testing.
When the mother recently decided to marry, she and her new husband decided that he should formally adopt the child. As part of the adoption, the child underwent a DNA test.
Much to the surprise of the man who had been faithfully meeting his child support obligations for years, the DNA test proved that he was not, in fact, the child's biological father.
He is now suing the child's mother, demanding that she reimburse him the $30,000 or more that he has spent to date. He is also seeking punitive damages in excess of $100,000.
Not much more is known about the lawsuit or any of the parties involved. In particular, it is not clear if the man paying support had any relationship with the child.
If you have questions about establishing paternity or arranging for child support when the parents are not married or paternity is not certain, you should contact a family law attorney in your area.
Source: WHAS 11, "Lawsuit: Illinois man pays thousands in child support, finds out child's not his," July 31, 2013