The child support lobby and industry evidently got this judge off the bench because he ruled against jailing a man for failing to pay child support for a child that wasn’t his. Surprisingly, many states still have crazy laws on the books that force non-fathers to pay child support for children that aren’t theirs.
The state Legislature addressed Texas’s baby-mama drama this session when, on May 12, Governor Rick Perry signed a bill that immediately relieves men determined not to be the biological father of a child from being required to pay child support. The bill passed unanimously through both the House and Senate.
Previously, as we reported in a 2008 cover story on the subject, state law determined that a man was legally the father of any child born to his wife — and men only had four years to challenge their paternity. But with the advent of DNA testing, science outran the law. And during the years of science leading the charge, Judge David Hanschen erred on the side of DNA testing to the chagrin of others in law enforcement including the Texas attorney general.
“I ruled against the law, and the law was just wrong,” Hanschen tells Unfair Park. Legally, he could have sentenced a man to jail for not financially supporting a child he did not biologically father. “That’s just crazy,” Hanschen says.
“What I said for years is that the truth doesn’t have a statute of limitations,” he says. “The courts are charged with finding out what the truth is.”
Last year, Hanschen was not re-elected to his post in family district court. He attributes his loss to being chastised, especially in this Dallas Morning News editorial, for the way he handled these cases.
“I believe in many respects it cost me the election because of what The Morning News did,” Hanschen says. He was regarded by many as an outlaw judge, even though today most of his actions would be considered neatly in step with the law.
The new child support law does not absolve men from making late child support payments. Regardless of biological testing results, a man is bound to the terms of the previous arrangement until the day he is determined not to be the biological father.
“I think this was a big stride forward,” Hanschen says. “The truth no longer has a statute of limitations.”
via Months After Hanschen Was Chased Off Bench, New Child Support Law Says: He Was Right – Dallas News – Unfair Park.
In a recent interview, Dena Smith, spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Resources, said her agency will propose legislation in next year’s General Assembly to make sure what happened to Hatley will not happen again to anyone facing the same predicament.
Hatley, 50, sat in a South Georgia jail in Adel for almost 13 months even though a special assistant state attorney general and the judge knew he was not the child’s biological father. In 2001, Hatley had been ordered to pay $16,398 in past-due child support even though a DNA test proved he was not the parent.
Good for Mr. Hatley. This is an example of a civilization gone nuts. It won’t get fixed until the state gets out of the child support collection racket, and when mom’s who defraud men this way are put into jail. I happen to think it is a very serious thing to lie about who the father of a child is.
I hope we’ll learn whether indeed, Mr. Hatley is forgiven the child support debt. It should also be interesting to see if this proposed legislation gets anywhere, and who speaks against it.
via Wronged ‘deadbeat dad’ may be free of child support | ajc.com.
(CNN) — Frank Hatley spent the past year in jail for being a deadbeat dad. But there’s one problem — Hatley doesn’t have any children. And the “deadbeat” label doesn’t fit the 50-year-old either, his supporters say.
Frank Hatley had been ordered to make back payments even after he learned a teenager wasn’t his son.
After a hearing, Hatley was released from the Cook County Jail in south Georgia Wednesday afternoon, with the help of the Southern Center for Human Rights.
Superior Court Judge Dane Perkins ruled that Hatley was indigent and should not be jailed for not being able to make child support payments. Perkins postponed a decision on whether Hatley should have to make any more back payments on child-support for a child who is not his.
In June of last year, a judge ordered Hatley to jail for failing to reimburse the state for public assistance that was paid to support his “son,” who, as the court was aware, is not actually his son.
Hatley’s attorney Sarah Geraghty, who filed a motion for his release, called it a case of “blatant unfairness.”
Isn’t it amazing how we consider ourselves a civilized society, and yet this kind of thing can happen? How is it possible for an unemployed man, who is still actually paying something, to go to jail for falling behind. The judge that found this man in contempt and who sentenced him should be dealt with in a way that sends a message.
via Childless man freed after serving time for child support violations – CNN.com.
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. Continue reading Child Support Injustice in the news
Man vows to fight paternity statute | Wilkes-Barre News | timesleader.com – The Times Leader
DNA proves child born to Mark Spaid’s ex-wife during their marriage was not his.
By Terrie Morgan-Besecker
Law & Order Reporter
It took 16 years, but the man who questioned whether he is the biological father of a child born to his now ex-wife while they were married has obtained DNA test results that prove he is not the father.
Mark Spaid, who had a vasectomy three years before the child was born, fought for years to prove the child was the product of his wife’s extramarital affair. But the court system rejected his request for a paternity test and required him to pay child support for years. Continue reading Man vows to fight paternity statute
Here’s another article on Paternity Fraud, written, by the way, by a woman.
American Chronicle: PATERNITY FRAUD – THE CRIME ONLY A WOMAN CAN COMMIT
Mandatory DNA, live birth testing should be made binding across the nation. It should begin in Washington and proceed to each state. In the meantime, the dad who has been deceived, is now left standing on the heavy end of justice scales, while mom stays at home, pretending she is the helpless, hopeless victim of a bad marriage. She runs to the officials of the Friend of the Court, Family Court and Child Support Agencies whining about what she does not have, and they actually believe her.
It is just so astonishing that suddenly she is so concerned about the welfare of her children, but she could have cared less when she decided to deprive them of the company of their father. On the other hand, is their DAD REALLY THEIR DAD, or did mommy actually run away from dad before he found out the children were not his? First and foremost, ‘DNA before you pay.’
Here’s another quote:
“Give her jail instead, for jumping into his bed!”
“She had the itch, so it’s jail for the witch!”
So far, courts and society at large, have been exceedingly forgiving of wayward mothers and at the same time absolutely unforgiving of fathers involved, no matter what the situation. I think this may be changing now. The numbers and the amounts of money involved are getting disturbing. Fraud, as this writer accurately says, is fraud. As far as I am aware, this is the only context in which fraud of this scale is not only accepted, but actually encourage.
The case in the story linked here below at least opens the door for alleged fathers to contest paternity and child support, even though the issue has already been decided, however erroneously, in the past.
Maryland Daily Record
|WHAT THE COURT HELD
|Case: Patrick Winfred Ashley v. Michelle Marie Mattingly, COSA No. 2169. Reported. Opinion by Hollander, J. Filed Sept.13, 2007.
Issue: Did the lower court err in finding it did not have discretion to order genetic testing in paternity contest of a child born during a marriage?
Holding: Yes. If the lower court determines it is in the best interest of the child, genetic testing of a child born during a marriage may be allowed under the Estates & Trusts Article.
Counsel: Nicholas D. Capousis for appellant; William R. Lenck for appellee.
RecordFax: #7-0913-03 (27 pages)
The problem is that this case, as I understand it, still requires him to go back and ask again, and the court could turn him down, based on the interest of the child doctrine. What I’d like to know is why no one seems to see that it is always in the interest of the child to know who the real father is. That’s right, there is such a thing as a real father. I.E. The biological father. I am well aware that it is currently fashionable to say things like, biology isn’t everything, etc., and it is certainly true that people, of both genders, can be extremely significant in the lives of children and adults. That’s great. That’s as it should be. But the only person who is your real father is the biological father.
A lot of these issues would disappear if the established child support and divorce industry wasn’t so fixated on putting monetary values on the worth of children (based upon, largely, the income of the putative father). This one is worth $1000 a month, this other is worth $200 a month, and so forth. It’s obscene.
The current state of affairs in Family Courts in the entire developed Western world looks as if it was either constructed by extremely cynical, evil, manipulative and cruel monsters, or alternatively, by a bunch of idiot monkeys.