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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience as practicing attorney
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Hi. I got a letter in the mail asking to verify my income with

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Hi. I got a letter in the mail asking to verify my income with the state of Florida. My ex-wife lives in California with her son, Dennis. He is not my son, though I am on the birth certificate as the father. We used to share custody up until he was 8 or 9, then she and her then husband moved to California. My fears have come true as I haven't seen or spoken to Dennis for quite some time. Now she has finally filed for child support and I am going to get stuck with the bill. I am not a dead-beat dad. When Dennis was here in Florida, I did help out financially. I feel that she has turned him against me and I'm ready to call it quits. What are my rights?

-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Have you ever denied paternity of the child?

Why is your name on the birth certificate?

Do you know who the father is?

Was the child born during your marriage?

Is this the first attempt at child support through the courts?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have never denied paternity. We were married throughout the pregnancy (She cheated on me). Yes, I know who the father is. When we got divorced in 1999, I was supposed to pay $644 a month. There was no way I could afford that. I paid sporadically and always when she would ask for money. Back in March of 2012 I started receiving letters from Santa Clara County court saying I owed over $126,000 in back child support. I was only making $10 an hour at that time, so I really couldn't afford representation. This is the first attempt at child support.

Dear JACUSTOMER - If there was a court order for support all this time and you never paid through the court you have a very big problem. The court will try to collect the money and they can enforce this in all 50 states. If the child was born during the marriage then the child is presumed to be a product of the marriage unless the paternity is challenged after the child is born. You would now have to file a motion in the CA court and try to get some if not all of the arrearage forgiven which is not going to be easy to do. Florida will only enforce whatever CA says is owed and would have no jurisdiction to do anything about the arrearage. The only practical way to handle this from Florida is to get an attorney in CA to represent your interests in the CA court and see what can be worked out. It's not going to do you any good to travel to CA and try to do this on your own and if the court order stays the wait is you will never get this paid off. The fact that you are not the bio father is irrelevant at this point in time since it has been too long to file a challenge to the paternity. You only option is to try to get the child support reduced.

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