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Paternity issues can play into family law cases

For some Colorado parents, struggles over child support elicit a great deal of contention, often leading to one or more court appearances. In certain family law cases, questions over paternity can complicate the matter, leaving fathers in a position to face punitive measures for failure to pay child support to a child they believe is not their own. This can be a delicate area of law, as evidenced by a recent East Coast ruling that has received widespread media coverage.

The ruling involved a man who faced a hearing over past due child support payments totaling $23,000. The man was able to obtain DNA testing that proved that he was not the father of the child to whom the payments are intended. However, he did sign the child's birth certificate at the time of birth, leaving him responsible for the back child support.

The judge in the case ruled that the man would be required to make good on that obligation. However, he will be allowed to pay down his debt at a rate of just one dollar a month, with no interest accrued. At that rate, he can expect to be free from this debt in as little as 1,917 years. As for the thousands of dollars he already paid to the child's mother, he told reporters that he plans to pursue her in court to reclaim that expense.

This case illustrates the many types of legal issues that can come before a Colorado family law judge. In addition, it demonstrates the importance for fathers to take the proper steps to ensure paternity in cases in which that issue is in question. For those who have been similarly deceived, the ruling gives hope that the courts are amenable to correcting the injustice.

Source:, "Judge orders $1 a month in child support for the next 1000+ years," Yvette Yeon, Feb. 27, 2013

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