Generally, child support can be explained quite simply: If you have a child who is living with his/her other parent, you will owe some amount of child support. It seems obvious to say that a person will not owe child support for a child that is not his/hers. However, a man in Michigan is facing jail time for not paying $30,000 in child support for a child that is not his. Court says man owes child support for kid who isn’t his, by Katherine Biek, ajc.com, October 28, 2014.
The facts in this case are almost unbelievable. Carnell Alexander’s ex-girlfriend put his name down as the father of her child when she applied for state assistance 27 years ago. She put his name down only after being told that failing to list a father (or a list of potential fathers) could result in her benefits being reduced or cancelled. Once she listed his name, the child support began accruing, despite the lack of other evidence that he was the father. Alexander didn’t even know she had listed him as the father until he was pulled over for a routine traffic stop a few years later and found out there was a warrant for his arrest for failing to pay $70,000 in child support.
Now, despite having a DNA test that proves he’s not the father, he shockingly remains on the hook for the money. A Michigan judge said that Alexander is still required to pay $30,000 owed to the state since he never signed a summons issued to him. But Alexander has alleged that he wasn’t even aware of the child support case or summons because he was in prison at the time it was filed. Even the ex-girlfriend is stepping up to try to help Alexander. According to the article, she knows that his predicament is her fault, and she has reached out to the court on his behalf. In addition, the real biological father is in the child’s life now, which makes everything that much more preposterous. Despite all of these facts, which seemingly discharge Alexander of this obligation, the Michigan court is remaining firm: pay the back-owed child support in the amount of $30,000 or go to jail.
If you are a man who is being alleged to be the father of a child, and you do not believe you are that child’s father, get a DNA test immediately. Then, if you are ever served with a child support case, do not ignore it, just because you have DNA results proving you are not the father. Make sure you timely respond to the case and submit your DNA results. You will need a court order declaring you are not the father to make sure you do not end up on the hook for child support payments. Once you do get this order, keep it in a safe place so you can find and use it as needed in the future.