Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Non-Father's Day

It's a story as old as time. A man is put in jail after not fully paying child support fees. This all comes after the man has unfortunately lost his job, and his home. But, in the case of at least one Georgia man, there's a catch.

The man isn't actually the father, and the courts knew it. In fact, they knew it for at least nine years, and continued to charge the man anyways.

More to the point, it's not like the man wasn't actually paying into the state, even after learning that the child wasn't his. He was even paying out of his unemployment benefits after losing his job, which almost certainly helped accelerate the process of losing his house.

Listen, we understand that there are plenty of people out there who don't want to fulfill their obligations. They thought that there was no possible way that they could get saddled with a child, and they don't want to worry about the financial end. So naturally there's going to be an inclination to look towards people who are actually willing to pay. But when it's determined that the child and the "father" aren't actually related, that should be the end of it. Now we're not saying that anyone should be reimbursed if the genetics of the child aren't determined until years have passed, but, once there is a definitive ruling, stop pursuing it. The Georgia man in today's story has even been jailed, and is awaiting the outcome of a special hearing to see if he can go back to his life.

If someone WANTS to assume financial responsibility, that's one thing. But to outright force someone, and to continue when you learn that the original reasons were false? That's something else entirely.

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