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Georgia man jailed for child support says child isn't his

Nearly everyone in Marietta knows that when two people in Georgia divorce, one former spouse will pay the other child support if they have dependent children. Not only is this to make it easier for the custodial parent to raise the children, but it is also in the children's best interests, as they have access to more money for their needs. While loving parents may not be too upset to pay child support, it is a completely different matter when a parent has no relationship to the child. This story, however, calls into question what should happen if the noncustodial parent is not the actual parent of the child.

A Columbus, Georgia, man is claiming that a child for whom he has been paying child support for the past nine years is not his biological child and, thus, says he should no longer have to pay child support. The man's argument is that he, as an African American, man and the mother, as a dark-haired and dark-eyed Latina, could never have given birth to a blond, blue-eyed child. While he has not yet collected DNA evidence that proves he is not the father, he is attempting to a save money for a paternity test.

Even if he does take a paternity test, however, he may still be responsible for paying child support, as he signed the child's birth certificate as the father.

After reviewing the facts of the case, a Columbus superior court judge says this story serves as an important reminder that fathers should be sure that children are theirs before signing any birth certificates. Even if a paternity test proves the child is not his, this man may still be considered the child's biological father.

In the past nine years of the boy's life, the father has been jailed at least 15 times because he has been unable to afford his child support payments. He currently owes $60,000 in child support arrears.

Source: WTVM 9, "Local man asks for help proving paternity," Brittany Dionne, Feb. 28, 2013

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