It's seems like an oversight or some cruel clerical error but it's actually the law. A Houston man has battled in court for more than a decade because he is being forced to pay for a child that DNA proves isn't his. “It's been a tough battle. I've been paying child support for about 13 years now,” says Willie Carson.
What's unusual about a parent paying child support? Well, DNA test results show Carson has a 0.00% probability of paternity. That means Carson isn't the dad of the 13 year old girl in question.
“I've never seen the child. I never spoke to the child. I don't know what the child looks like,” Carson explains. He has paid thousands in child support for the little girl, simply because initially the mother named him as her baby's father. His paycheck has been garnished for almost 13 years and he's now behind in payments by $21,000.
Carson has battled this case in court for years and struggles financially because of it. “There were days that I didn't eat. I went without electricity” he explains.
The girl's mom has now sent a letter to the court saying he isn't her daughter's dad and shouldn't have to pay. Recently Carson received a letter stating his 401K funds are no longer frozen and he no longer has to pay child support.
“I learned a lot of valuable lessons in all of this” smiles Carson. “I never gave up. There is light at the end of the tunnel”.
Carson is due back in court Monday where he's hoping this 13 year fight will finally be over. “Yes I'm hoping for it but the judge has the last say so”.
This happens so often the issue is among the Texas Attorney General's Office frequently asked questions. According to the Attorney General even after dismissing a mistaken dad's duty to pay child support he is "still responsible for arrears", responsible for any back money owed.