Local man asks for help proving paternity - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Local man asks for help proving paternity

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

More than 10,000 child support cases are heard in Muscogee County every year.

One local man says he's been ordered to pay hundreds a month to support a child that's not his, and he needs help proving it.

Unforgettable paternity moments have been captured on the small screen for years; sometimes, if proven not to be the father, the person will be so happy they dance.

Columbus father Allen Jones says there may be no reason to celebrate at all.

"There's no bond there because he really doesn't know me and I don't know him," said Jones.

The father of four says he pays a little more than $300 a month in child support to a child he hasn't seen in seven years.

"The kid has blonde hair and blue eyes," Jones said.

Jones said there is no way a blonde hair, blue eyed baby could be his son because he's African American and the child's mother is Latino with dark hair and dark eyes.

"A man who believes he's the father of the child should be as sure as he can possibly be before he signs the birth certificate," Superior Court Judge Art Smith said.

The Columbus based judge has decades of experience with an array of legal matters including child support cases.

He says the judicial system believes in Res Judicata.

"It's a Latin word and it basically means settled matters are final," said Smith.

Judge Smith says the judicial system is not always black and white, and every case is unique.

"Legal paternity can be established through marriage, paternity testing, paternity acknowledgment with vital records and/or a court order," said Ravae Graham with the Division of Family and Children Services.

Nine years ago, Jones signed the birth certificate. By law he's considered the biological father, therefore he's financially responsible for the child.

Jones says the child's mother has had him thrown in jail at least 15 times for back child support. He now owes more than $60,000 plus interest.

"I went to the courts in Gwinnett County and they denied me a DNA test,"said Jones.

Jones explained he can't afford to pay the $500 or more it can cost to get a paternity test.

Although he knows he may still be on the hook to financially support the child, he says he does plan to pursue other legal options once he proves he's not the father.

 

Important Links:

Paternity Establishment  - Georgia Department of Human Resources
http://dcss.dhs.georgia.gov/paternity-establishment

Child Custody Order Establishment – Alabama Department of Human Resources

http://dhr.alabama.gov/services/child_support_services/CS_Order_Establishment.aspx

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