In two states, lawmakers are working on providing relief to men who have been forced to pay child support for children who are not biologically theirs.
In Texas last week, Senate Bill 785 was signed into law, enabling a man to file a petition of mistaken paternity within a year from the time he becomes aware that he is not the child’s biological father, ending his burden of paying child support.
In North Carolina, House Bill 55 has passed the House and is currently under Senate review. If passed, the alleged father can request DNA testing to prove non-paternity and find immediate relief, in some circumstances, from child support payments. The mother could also be ordered to reimburse the father for previously paid child support if the court finds that the mother used fraud or misrepresentation to lead the man to believe he was the child’s father.
Both laws have certain restrictions—for example, the Raleigh law would not cover circumstances where the father has previously acknowledged the child as his own while knowing he wasn’t the biological father.
DNA paternity testing has long been used to prove paternity in order to establish financial support for children. With these two developments in the legal arena, men who were mistakenly paying years of child support can now find financial relief.
For more information about using DNA testing for a child support situation, please contact DNA Diagnostics Center at 1-800-613-5768.