An American divorcee in the central state of Oklahoma has been ordered to pay maintenance for another man’s child.
The man, now in his 20s, married his ex-wife after she fell pregnant while the pair were still in High School.
‘Thomas’ never doubted the child was his until the couple’s relationship began to break down. He ordered a DNA test around the time of the toddler’s third birthday.
The test clearly showed that he was not the little boy’s biological father. A second test produced the same result. In a local family court, a Judge was initially sympathetic to Thomas but later changed his mind and insisted that, despite the results, he would still have to pay child support of $500 per month along with no less than $15,000 in back pay plus interest.
Under Oklahoma men are only entitled to question paternity during the first two years of a child’s life. After the baby’s second birthday they become the legal father regardless of any subsequent DNA results.
At that point, the only way out before the child’s 18th birthday is for the mother and biological father to release the payer from their financial obligations.
Thomas told local TV programme News On 6:
“I wish I was telling a lie. I wish it wasn’t the truth but it is. That’s what makes it so crazy. Everyone I talk to about this can’t believe where the court system is coming from.”
“At this point, there’s really nothing I can do to get out of the $15,000 or get out of the child support, it’s done, it’s the law.”
Photo of country road in Oklahoma by Hellohowareyoudoing via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence