Picture this scenario. Single mom needs someone to pay for a new child. Single mom doesn’t know who the father is, but chooses someone either because of the money they made or some other reason. Man knows he’s not the father– what should the man do?
In the case of Anthony L. Parker, he decided not to do anything.
In the case, the state Office of Child Support Enforcement filed a paternity complaint against Parker on April 18, 2002, but Parker did not respond. McGowan entered a judgment of paternity June 20, 2002, and ordered Parker to pay $24 a week in child support and $4,446 in past-due support.
Parker did not pay the money, and the state agency filed a contempt motion against him March 7, 2003. But Parker did not appear for a court hearing on the motion, and the judge issued a pick-up order for him.
Before Parker was arrested in March 2005, the state garnished his wages from June 2004 through February 2005. Parker asked for a paternity test and was found not to be the father.
Things seemed to be done in an ethical manner– until it got to the state supreme court. You see, the lower court freed the man of the support funds since the child was not his child, but the supreme court ruled that he has to pay the support up until the time that he was cleared.
What we have here should serve as both a warning and a reminder. A reminder that we live in a fallen world and that when people in marriages do not keep their vows, or marital activities are down outside of marriage, the consequences are litigation and rules that, even if you don’t respond because you’re not responsible, you could be held financially responsible. Over at Prison Breakdown, Brian posts about delaying parenthood being done by men because they know that they could get hit with child support should something happen.
A warning– If you are summoned to court (even if you’ve done nothing) GO! Especially in the case of these people trying to go after “deadbeat dads” sometimes you only get a warning in the mail or some kind of statement that if you don’t respond to it they assume that the child is yours. I heard the same thing from other things that you get in the mail claiming you have a debt– you need to follow through and make sure people get the right information. Mr. Parker could have saved himself a lot of headache had he gotten the paternity test sooner.