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Texas Paternity Fraud: I’m Not the Father So Why the Child Support? Progress!

March 16, 2012

paternityTexas paternity law was recently changed regarding the need to correct paternity mistakes with DNA testing.

March 15, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ — What if a man has been named the father of a child, but has to pay child support because he missed court or was misled into signing a paternity statement without a DNA test? Although the Texas Family Code covers a wide range of legal issues from divorce, child custody and spousal support to modifications of custody and visitation because of parental relocation, one Texas paternity provision was recently changed regarding the need to correct paternity mistakes with DNA testing.

Prior to the passage of Texas Senate Bill 785, a man could only request a paternity test prior to a legal designation of fatherhood. If he did not assert that right before a legal declaration was made, contesting paternity later — even with DNA evidence — was almost impossible. This put men who had been deceived about babies’ parentage in unacceptable positions of having to support children not their own until adulthood.

Texas Governor Rick Perry signed SB 785 into law last year after a legislative battle that had lasted six years. The law provides for a new process that allows men to file petitions of mistaken paternity to challenge wrongful determinations that they are fathers and thus obligated to pay child support.

The new law, Texas Family Code section 161.005, also means that a man who signs an acknowledgment of paternity, or AOP, form at the hospital after a child’s birth can later challenge paternity with a DNA test.

As with all Texas family law cases involving children, their best interests should be taken into account by courts before terminating parent-child relationships. Future child support obligations will be terminated if court-ordered DNA testing shows that a man is not the father of a child and the petitioner shows that he was under a mistaken belief that the child was his because of the mother’s misrepresentations. However, child support reimbursement under these circumstances is not authorized by the bill, and past-due child support, including interest, is still enforceable by contempt of court.

Situations Not Subject to Mistaken Paternity Petitions

Under certain circumstances, men are not allowed to petition the court for termination of child support obligations. A man cannot file a petition for mistaken paternity if:

– He is the child’s adoptive father.

– He consented to assisted reproduction by his wife as defined by Texas law.

– He is the intended father of a child conceived under a gestational agreement as defined by Texas law.

A Petition to Terminate under this law must be filed within a year after a man learns that he is not a child’s father. Because this provision is so new, a discussion with a Texas family law attorney can help a potential client assess his legal options and understand other emerging developments.

Other Changes That Can Affect Child Support Under the Texas Family Code

Mothers or fathers who have child support obligations can obtain termination orders under several other circumstances:

– Marriage of the child

– Removal of a disability that justified child support

– Death of the child

– Emancipation of the child (reaching 18 years of age)

– The child’s enlistment in the U.S. armed forces, as of the date of active service

In addition, child support orders, as well as provisions regarding custody and spousal support, are subject to post-divorce modification by the court. This is a formal legal process that takes into account factors such as changes in financial or other relevant circumstances, as well as the best interests of the child or children.

Parental relocation is a common reason for an ex-spouse or other parent to seek modification of a custody or support order. Even if both parents casually agree that relocation makes sense, they should formalize their plans with the court to avoid future problems.

Texas Divorce Lawyers Advise Parents and Spouses About Legal Updates

Every aspect of Texas family law is subject to change, whether through legislative action or new legal interpretations by state appellate courts. An experienced family law attorney understands the significance of recent or pending changes, and can advise clients accordingly.

This is true whether the client is concerned about a custody dispute, a divorce, adoption of a child or allegations of domestic violence in the context of a custody dispute. By staying abreast of the latest changes to the law, a child support lawyer can provide clients with the knowledge they need to protect their interests.

Article provided by Law Offices of Bill Baskette

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12 Responses to Texas Paternity Fraud: I’m Not the Father So Why the Child Support? Progress!

  1. Jon on August 28, 2017 at 9:23 AM

    I just got an order to pay support for a child that is not mine from ex wife who had this child before I meet her. Called and was told I need to hire a lawyer to get it off? I can not afford one. What can I do??

  2. Manuel Martinez on November 28, 2016 at 6:27 PM

    Same here in Texas!! my husband has 2 kids and he’s not the biological father of one but still has to pay back child support because judge said he knew that he was not the real father but still sign at the hospital we paid 6000 to get a good attorney to help us take off the one that is not his son. But now we’re just done and have to pay off back and for both kids.

    • Manny on July 7, 2017 at 2:53 AM

      Imagine having never met the Mother of your alleged child but still ordered to pay child support because Child Support Enforcement “found” the wrong Martinez Jr. by “mistake”. <~ TRUE STORY …I feel horrible for John Smith!!!

    • Mommy on October 4, 2017 at 1:49 PM

      Oh w0w!

  3. Rickey on February 15, 2016 at 6:20 PM

    Fraud is wrong and why should a man pay for children who not theirs. How is man suppose get justice for when woman wrongfully accuse him to be father and he never had any parental rights. I am not hit with owning the state and paying back pay for children who are not mine, Is there anybody out who kniws what I am talking about? I need some advice and help.

  4. Raymond on December 26, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    I can’t believe that the law recognizes abuse by women.. Is this major hypocrisy.? It is fraud and wrong to steal money from someone no matter what the circumstances?. It is stealing, plain and simple. The child needs its rightful father no matter what. If the father is a loser, doesn’t mean someone else has to pay for it. Stealing, fraud, deception should never be allowed in this great country of ours. I always thought this was for third world countries. Do the women have that much control over us? Hey I know someone who has a child and the father disappear, let’s get the next schmuck who decides to live with her to be the father. Hey wait a minute, I see a schmuck over there walking on the street, let’s claim him to be the father. Have we gone mad. I am sure that not even God would approve of this. Deception, evil, lies, stealing, are just some of the words on the top of my head. Since when is it o.k. to keep a child from their real father?. It’s like our country has the devil at the wheel. Where the hell is “In God We Trust”. Did it disappear? I am just sick to my stomach that we allow people to get away with this. Sick, sick, Sick people.

  5. richard on April 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    what i don't get is if the male is behind or whatever, he shouldn't be forced to pay. That money never rightfully belonged the so-called mother to begin with. the women don't even get punished for this. it's like saying, "ok, you like all these years but he still owe's you some many, you'll get it along with interest. Just don't do it again". that's wrong. criminal charges should be filed. the law should not let anyone female get away with this. even if it happened years ago and all kids are grown, she should still get filed on.

  6. k. miller on April 16, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    When I heard this on the news not giving a refund caught my attention. I attended schools for gifted children the only one from my neighborhood to do so, point being I comprehend everything I read, sad part is so do y’all. You just choose to accept that you can’t understand the law. Google 45 CFR 303.100 PROCEDURE FOR INCOME WITHOLDING and just read it, specifically (a)(8) and (c)(2), then take it to your attorney. If you’re not stupid you should realize he’s talking to you like you are.

  7. Michael on April 14, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Paternity fraud victimizes several parties; the man whose life/choices/finances have been robbed from him not to mention the emotional devastation, the rigthtfult father who was never informed of his child, and the child who was lied to and formed a relationship with a man who is not his real father AND denied the right to know/bond with his real father and will be facing a lifetime of emotional issues that have recprecussions for generations to come.

    This should be a FELONY. I mean how can NOT paying child support for your child be a criminal offense but stealing child support and the other crimes listed above not be?

    What is amazing is forcing men to continue to pay. It is like telling the victims of the Maddoff Frauds that not only was no crime committed, but that since they didn't do their due diligence beforehand they have to keep paying into the bogus scheme. Insanity.

  8. Mad Dog Mike38321 on April 13, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Well I just saw the story in the news of the bride that lied about having leukemia and bilked the community for thousands in gifts and a free wedding, honeymoon. Now everyone is outraged by her behavior and thinks the judge should throw the book at her. Why? We let women get away with paternity fraud, which in my opinion is much more devastating than what she did. Think about it for a minute a woman can dupe a man into thinking he is the father of her child and even when DNA evidence clears him the court system will still punish the victim and not the criminal. That is why I refer to paternity fraud as the perfect crime. It is the only crime a woman can commit have that crime exposed and still the victim gets punished. I think if the criminal justice (criminal injustice) system ignores these crimes they should ignore this one to. What I am trying to say is paternity fraud should be treated the same as any other fraud.

  9. Mad Dog Mike38321 on April 2, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    just think if these women commit fraud by any other means they would be facing jail time.

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