Not all child support cases follow the predictable lines of a mother and father struggling over the financial needs of a shared child. In some cases, the matter is more complicated, as demonstrated in a recent child support case that has made headlines in Texas and across the nation. The case centers on one man’s financial liability for the child of another.
The man went through a number of treatments for lymphoma in 1999, including a vasectomy. As is standard in such procedures, the vasectomy was tested shortly afterward. The procedure was found to have been effective in preventing the man’s sperm from leaving his body.
Despite the fact that the procedure left the man effectively sterile, his wife later became pregnant. The man had his vasectomy checked two additional times, and the results showed that he was unable to emit sperm. Despite knowing that the child his wife carried could not be his own, the man remained within the relationship and tried to work things out.
He agreed to stand by his wife and be there for the child. He asserts that they entered into an agreement that she would not seek child support in the event that they went their separate ways. However, it was not long before that series of events took place, leaving the man faced with a child support case for a child who does not belong to him.
When the matter went before a court, the man was told that the laws within his state of residence assert that because he was married to the child’s mother, he is legally presumed to be the father of her child. That makes him responsible for child support from the time of the child’s birth until the date of the couple’s separation. He has asked the court to grant him the right to go through DNA testing to prove that the child is not his, but that request has not yet been granted.
The case serves as a warning to men in Texas and across the nation of the risks involved in assuming a caregiving role toward a child who is not one’s own. While the laws vary from one state to another, cases such as this exist in which men are forced to provide financial support. Individuals who are concerned about their own level of risk should meet with a family law attorney to learn more.
Source: myfox8.com, “‘Impossible father’ paying child support for son that can’t be his“, Bob Buckley, April 27, 2015