Childless Georgia resident, Frank Hatley, is 50-years old. He has spent the last 13-months in jail for failure to pay child support despite the fact that DNA has proven him to not be the father of any child. A Georgia judge has finally released him from jail and from the responsibility of paying child support to anyone.
From the article:
Two things still remain to be cleared up for Hatley, Geraghty said — lifting the child-support holds on his driver’s license and his income tax. It remains unclear whether he will be reimbursed for the $6,000 in payments he made since 2000, she said — so far, he has not been.
This is not a unique or rare situation. Paternity fraud is rampant throughout this country and others and once fathers are named, they have a very small window of opportunity to disavow paternity of a child. Once that window passes, there is almost nothing they can do to end their obligation. That’s a problem for the men who know they’re not the fathers. Imagine the men who don’t know?
What’s worse is, despite fraud being a crime, I have yet to be made aware of any instances where a mother was held accountable for perpetrating such fraud. A man is made to pay for the better part of 18-years for a child(ren) who is/are not his and the mother benefits financially from her criminal activity. This is all sanctioned by the family courts as being “in the best interests of the children.”
Let’s hope the courts don’t ultimately find murder to ever be in a child’s best interests, then (non) fathers would really be in trouble.
Truth be told, the majority of men who are behind on child support are the furthest thing from “deadbeat dads” and those who willfully fail to pay child support in part or in whole are a very small percentage of the overall number. Ironically enough, mothers (as a gender) default in part or in whole on their child support obligations (when they’re required to pay it) at a much higher rate than fathers. Go figure. Don’t often hear about the crisis of “deadbeat moms,” though do we?
From the article:
The Georgia Department of Human Services, which includes the Office of Child Support Services, plans to propose legislation in the next session of the state Legislature that would prevent similar situations in the future, said agency spokeswoman Dena Smith.
Sure. How about enforcing existing laws regarding committing fraud and force the reimbursement of all child support paid and associated costs? Will women ever be held accountable for their crimes in the same way that men are?
For the full article: Childless man released from child support debt