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Thursday, July 10, 2008


Seven children call Terress Sims “Daddy” but for nearly 11 years one other child’s mother says he’s responsible for an 8th. He says he’s not.
“If I claim all these kids, which is a good number for children, why should I be denying one,” asked Sims.
He says the SC Department of Social Services told him he’d have to pay for the DNA test to prove he wasn’t the Daddy. “I was like I can’t afford it one right now and they told me basically they made me well they’re like you got to pay until you can afford one,” said Sims.
So he was ordered to pay thousands in child support but says he finally stopped for good when the girl started to not look like him. When we asked Sims if he took care of this child thinking it was his he replied, “No, I wasn’t. I wasn’t thinking it was mine. I was paying because they made me, otherwise I’d go to jail.”
And when he didn’t pay he was sentenced to 6 months in jail.
“I went to jail later on in the year,” said Sims. “I went to jail twice.”
Family court documents we obtained showed in May of this year he had a genetic test showing he wasn’t the father but DSS required an additional test.
How could that not be good enough? DSS wouldn’t answer that question citing confidentiality but claims they would never force someone to front the money to have a DNA test done.
“We will go ahead and have the tests done,” said DSS Director of Child Support Enforcement Larry McKeown. “If the individual is excluded there is no cost. If the individual is found to be the father than we would ask the court to have the individual reimburse us.”
Not true says Mr. Sims who lost more than just money he lost his freedom.
“That’s time away from your life you can’t get back,” Sims said.
Family court tell us from here Mr. Sims will be able to ask DSS to schedule another hearing to see if he can get his money back. That’s up to the judge. 7 On Your Side will continue to follow his case and let you know what happens.
For more information about disputing child support enforcement claims and starting a case with DSS call 864-282-4650 or click here. You have to watch this to believe this clip to believe it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Protecting yourself from paternity fraud

Paternity fraud is the act of falsely naming a man to be the biological father of a child, particularly for the purpose of collecting child financial support , by the mother when she knows or suspects that he is not the biological father.

In cases of paternity fraud, there are many potential victims: the defrauded man, the child deprived of a relationship with his/her biological father, the biological father who is deprived of his relationship with his child. Subsidiary victims include the defrauded child's and the men's families. In particular, financial hardship may have resulted for the defrauded man's children and spouse in cases in which the man made child support payments for the unrelated child.
In some jurisdictions in some countries, there is limited opportunity to legally challenge the assumption of paternity.

If you choose to do so you can request DNA tests for you and the children. Expect to pay upward of $400 for the testing, but if you believe a child is not your biological, it's a worthwhile expense. Your goal is to avoid becoming a victim of "Paternity Fraud." Monetary gain is generally the reason that most women lie about the children biolocial parent. Most men will be on the hook for 18 or more years of child support for a child or children who aren't yours. The bad news is that paternity fraud is not uncommon. If the DNA tests show that you're not the father, you need to get a lawyer and challenge paternity. Depending on where you live, you'll typically have six to 24 months to do so. Forbidding men to challenge paternity, especially in the context of marriage, by limiting the amount of time allowed to challenge paternity, or by allowing women to make a claim paternity without adequate chance for rebuttal by the alleged father. Such is the case in state of California U.S.A.. In some jurisdictions, the husband of the mother of a child is held to be the father, regardless of biological relationship. Access to such testing is restricted in some jurisdictions as it is held to not be in the best interests of the child for such information to become available. A man finding out that the child is not his biological child contrary to information supplied by the mother may result in his rejection of the child or mother.

One man received a bill for $75,000 in back child support. That came a quite a surprise, since he didn't think he had any children. He tracked down his ex-girlfriend and his child and got a paternity test, which proved conclusively that he was not the father. But because he hadn't challenged paternity soon enough he was still held responsible for the arrears. In another case, a dad found 18 months after his divorce that the child he'd been paying support for was not his. The mother admitted she lied about the child's paternity, but because the deadline to challenge had passed, dad'll be paying $1,200/month for the next 15 years - more than $200,000! Unfortunately, even challenging paternity within the window doesn't guarantee that you'll avoid being defrauded. In many states, when a child is born during a marriage, the husband is presumed to be the father - biology is irrelevant. So even if DNA shows that he's not the father, he'll still owe child support. Why are the courts making men pay for children who aren't theirs, whom they may never have met or known about or have no legal rights to see? Unfortunately, it's big business. Many states receive government funds for every child support claim they issue, and they may take a percentage of money collected - often to the tune of tens of millions of dollars per year. The big complication here is that you undoubtedly love your son and you may decide that you want to claim him as your own regardless of what a paternity test might show.

Unfortunately this is very common behavior in women. Collectin child support is one thing but collecting child support should be a crime, a felony. This would at least stop women claiming a man is the father and he is not. Then restitution should be paid for all the money that was paid to that woman with interest. That should be the next bill that should pass as law!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Locking men up for not paying child support

I don't believe that Locking men up for not paying child support is the answer. Once a child is born it is the obligation of the mother and father is to raise that child and take care of him or her. Treating a man or woman like a common criminal because they can not afford to pay child support is not the answer.You not only ruin the father’s life but the child as well. The point is not to figure how to lock him or her up, but how to make them contribute to the cause. So many programs could be initiated that would help although if a work release programs could be implemented it would be a resolution to one big problem. 1st he pays child support and he would pay fees to remain in the program. Most important to stay in the program he has to participate in the child’s life. This could be a simple answer to a big problem. We just need a open mind to make it work.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Child support unit movingBy

The child support unit in District Attorney Larry Moore’s office is planning a move in the near future that will create some relief for workers, which should translate to better services for customers.
According to Jennifer Gourd, who works in Moore’s child support office, the basic purpose of the child support office is currently limited by physical space restrictions in the courthouse.
“Our main function is establishing and enforcing child support,” she said. “We currently have more than 5,000 cases open. There are 11 people on staff, but there are supposed to be 16. Right now, we don’t have the space, and we are in very cramped quarters. Moving to a new facility will allow us a better ratio of caseworkers to cases.”
Remodeling of a structure to house the child support office at Denison and Main streets is under way. It will be in a section of adjoined business named Bodega Bay by the property owner.
Gourd provided some explanation of duties assigned to the child support unit.
“The program was created in 1975 for welfare recovery,” she said. “One thing we do is establish support orders; the custodial parent can name the father, who can come to court and acknowledge he is the parent or request a DNA test.”
Gourd listed several other responsibilities the unit handles.
“We also enforce existing orders, and we’re also charged with collecting Temporary Assistance to Needy Families,” she said. “We enforce payment for foster care from the biological parents, we enforce medical support, we can enforce support alimony, and we can enforce child support orders issued in other states.”
Moore said the new facility, which may be ready in August or September, is more than twice the size of the current space.
He explained the importance of having good child support services, which are offered free of charge to the custodial parent.
“The child support division statewide is for whichever parent has custody, and it enables them to better collect child support,” he said.
Moore said the majority of cases involve mothers trying to collect support they are owed.
“These are cases where paternity has been an issue, or the paying parent gets behind on payment or will not pay,” he said. “It is a service.”
Moore added that the new facility also will have room for expansion.

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