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Judge's leeway helps to ease man's child support burden

When a man signs a birth certificate and claims a child as his own, he is legally vowing to take care of that child until he or she reaches adulthood. However, if it later becomes known that that man is not the father, it can seemingly be unfair to make him pay child support. Pennsylvania parents who take responsibility of a child and later find that child is not theirs may want to examine the child support case of a father in a neighboring state. A little creativity and legal leeway allowed a judge to stick to the confines of the law and yet set things for right for a father who found out he wasn't actually the biological father of a child.

According to the news story, a man signed a birth certificate and agreed to be known as the father of a child. He found out the child was not his but was still bound to pay $200 a month in support. He was also behind in payments to the total of $23,000.

Once in court, the judge seemingly agreed that it was unfair that the man was legally bound to make payments for a child that proved not to be his biologically, yet he was still legally bound to do so. The judge gave a ruling that the man still had to pay support but set the amount at $1 per month without interest. At that rate, it would take the man over 1,900 years to pay the debt owed; however, he is still legally making payments. 

The creative settlement allowed for some judicial common sense to correct a mistake that has been made. If a Pennsylvania man is unsure of whether a child is actually his biological child, he should find out for sure what his legal obligation will be if he signs the birth certificate. Agreeing to pay child support and be legally known as the child's parent is a very serious responsibility and should not be entered into lightly.

Source: kltv.com, "Judge orders $1 a month in child support for the next 1000+ year," Yvette Yeon, Feb. 28, 2013

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