Child Support Injustice Exposed
Reported by: Brian Collister
Last Update: 9:40 am
News 4 has discovered there are men in Texas who are told by the state to pay thousands of dollars in child support, but they are not the father of the children. News 4 Trouble Shooter Brian Collister revealed the state knows it, but is making them pay up any way.
Rey Valdez was in the middle of a divorce years ago when his first wife told him she was pregnant. He wound up paying $300 a month in child support for his young son, but when the boy was a teenager, Valdez got an anonymous call.
“I got a phone call, and I was told that, ‘You need to look at who really is father of [the child] because you are not,’ and that angered me. I mean, how dare they?”
Confused and concerned after the call, he bought a DNA test. The results showed Valdez was not the boy’s father.
“It wasn’t right,” said Valdez, “I just couldn’t believe something like this could happen.”
He went back to court and the judge ordered the Attorney General’s Child Support office to do a DNA test. That office got the same result, that Valdez is not the biological father.
Despite those results, the judge ordered Valdez to keep paying child support. So far, he estimates he’s shelled out about $18,000 to his ex-wife for the boy.
Valdez said, “It’s money that could go to my children, my wife, myself, but I’m still paying it, cause the law tells me to.”
You see, the law in Texas says a father only has four years to challenge paternity. If they find out after four years that they are not the father, like Rey Valdez, the law says they are still the parent and still required to pay child support.
State Representative Harold Dutton has tried to pass paternity fraud legislation that would allow a father the right to challenge paternity with a dna test at any time. He told the News 4 Trouble Shooters what’s happening now, “is worse than an injustice because now you have the state participating in a fraud.”
“We have to fix it so the person paying child support is actually the father, and whatever we have to do to fix that, that’s what I think we have to do,” said Dutton. His bill hasn’t passed because he says the Attorney Generals office, which collects child support, opposes it.
The AG’s office denies that. We wanted to ask Attorney General Greg Abbott about paternity fraud, but we only got this statement:
“The Office of the Attorney General is obligated to follow the law. We must honor court orders that establish paternity and require the payment of child support. Our staff always encourages men to obtain paternity testing when it is a legal option.”
Representative Dutton said he’ll file his bill again next year, but he said he needs your help. You can contact your state representative and senator and ask them to support the change.
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