Why should men pay child support for children they didn't father?
They shouldn't and it would seem to be common sense but apparently it isn't. A measure was passed by a Florida House committee that would end a man's child support obligation if its proved he isn't the biological father.
TFM has blogged many times about the lack of common sense shown by judges. I recall reading a story where a man had to continue paying child support when it was proven he wasn't the father. That's an outrage and this law would keep judges from abusing both the law and the public.
Open Post- Third World County, Right Wing Nation, Stop the ACLU, The Real Ugly American,
A House committee has unanimously approved a bill that would let a man end his child-support obligation if he proves he's not the biological father.
This will be the second time the bill, which the committee passed this week, will go before the House. A Senate version passed last year, but the House didn't get a chance to vote on it.
"Everyone just agrees it's a fair thing to do," said the sponsor, Rep. Curtis Richardson, D-Tallahassee.
Generally, Florida law requires that child support - once legally established - continue until the child's 18th birthday, regardless of who the biological father is. Eleven states, including Georgia, have changed similar laws since 1994.
Richardson was approached in 2004 by two Quincy constituents - Tony Winbush and Bobby Rhames - who spoke of paying thousands of dollars in child support after DNA tests proved they could not be the biological fathers.
The men went to Carnell Smith of Georgia, a paternity-challenge advocate who has worked with various states to get so-called "paternity-fraud" bills passed. Smith worked with legislators in Georgia to get a similar bill passed in 2002.
As it is now, the bill does not include an amendment that a court could grant relief to the man only if it found that doing so would be in the best interests of the child.
Sen. Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, said his Senate bill will include that amendment.
"I don't think I can pass that bill in the Senate without that amendment," Lawson said.
Advocates for the paternity bill have said the amendment allows too much subjectivity. Lawson disagrees.
"When you can show DNA testing and people have tricked the (father), I think the judge will rule in their favor and give them relief," he said. "Most of the cases brought to us are hard-core cases in which the mother did know the man wasn't the father."
Richardson reasoned that if the man is married with other children, the court would have to decide which child it should be concerned about and protect his or her interests.