The Daily Telegraph can reveal 18 men, cleared by DNA testing, have made use of changes permitting them to claw back funds paid through the Child Support Agency. More than 300 men have been cleared by DNA of being fathers. Documents obtained under Freedom of Information show orders for $171,567 to be returned have so far been made against the mothers.
The money that was paid to them is being garnisheed from mothers' incomes by the Child Support Agency in the same way that payments are taken from the wages of non-custodial fathers. In each case the duped men were able to prove beyond doubt in the courts they were not the fathers based on DNA paternity testing. The new law, section 143 of the Child Support (Assessment) Act, requires the Family Court to consider issuing orders for repayment where paternity is successfully challenged and child support has been paid.
The law allowing such repayment debts to be collected by the Child Support Agency became effective on January 1 last year. In the biggest case, Queensland man Ken Rodgers obtained orders for the repayment of $60,000 after making child support contributions over a decade to a woman who refused to even send him a photograph of his alleged child.
The happy note is that some fathers are being reimbursed for their payments for a child that was not his, although what about the fathers who have proved the child is not theirs and can not get his money back...
Is that really justice?
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