Don't Call them Deadbeats, Call them Duped

Good Monday morning. In today's Rocky Mountain News, Julie Poppen offers us a story of a man named Dylan Davis who was, to use the vernacular, cuckolded, while he was serving in the U.S. Navy in the early 1990s. for years, Davis had suspicions that the twins his wife had given birth to were not his. The couple got divorced, Poppen tells us, and Davis was ordered to pay over $1,000 per month in child support. After a while, he took a DNA test which proved conclusively that the children were not his. Guess what?

He still had to pay child support (and still, to this day, pays over $600 per month). Under Colorado law, a "father" is required to pay child support even after he proves that he is not really the "father" of the child after all. Poppen's story is in the newspaper today because Colorado legislators will vote today to change the law and dissolve the legal burden on men like Davis. Poppen reports that four states already have laws that protect "dads" who really aren't "dads."

I don't know what to make of all this. Do you? On the one hand, it seems awfully unfair for a guy like Davis to have to pay support when the real father of the child does not. And, speaking of the "real" father, where is he in all of this? On the other hand, however, if Davis raised the children as if they were his own, shouldn't he feel some sort of responsibility toward their financial needs? And shouldn't the state encourage-- okay, force-- that feeling a bit? Back to the first hand, what is the mother's role in all of this? Shouldn't she be responsible in some way for the circumstances that led to this entirely unfortunate saga?

This is true water cooler stuff. So go ahead. Discuss. And then let me know what you think.

By Andrew Cohen |  January 29, 2007; 9:15 AM ET
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Comments

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I guess a fraud is a fraud is a fraud. If you put a lawn mower engine in Rolls Royce and tell me it's a Rolls Royce that does not make it so.

Is there anywhere else in our legal system where there is no remedy once a fraud has been discovered? Why should anyone be forced to assume the burden of another? If society chooses to distribute the burden, as in welfare, that is just and fair. But why should one man have to assume the burden of his deceiving wife?

Legitimacy has its virtues. Not only should he not be required to pay child support, but all of his money paid to date should be refunded. The entire divorce settlement should be re-opened in light of the fraud and perjury -- she did represent the children as his in court, didn't she? On the other hand because the children are not his, he should not have visitation rights either. He is disowning them.

As in the Duke lacrosse "rape" case, women have good reasons to lie, should society endorse this form of lying over all others?

Posted by: Constitutionalist | January 30, 2007 06:16 AM

There is a huge difference between being a father and being a sperm donor. My wife was pregnant when I met her, and we married before she gave birth. I raised that child, and she is MINE; the sperm donor has no right to that child.

We are more than animals with a simple biological need to procreate, we are made in God's image and love our children as God loves us. I simply cannot imagine that a father who has raised a child and has loved a child can stop loving that child because he did not impregnate the woman. The children are the innocent parties here, and I simply cannot imagine a father willing to deprive his children of needed financial and emotional support because his wife cheated on him.

Posted by: anon | January 30, 2007 11:04 AM

I CURRENTLY HAVE A GENTLEMAN FRIEND THAT HAS FOUND OUT THAT THE SON HE RAISED IS NOT HIS. HE IS CURRENTLY PAYING $2,500.00 IN SUPPORT OF THE WIFE AND CHILD MONTHLY. THIS IS WRONG, THE MAN WAS DECEIVED AND ITS NOT FAIR TO HIM. I THINK THAT THE "DUPED DADS" LAW SHOULD BE PASSED IN ALL STATES. AFTERALL THE MAN MAY REMARRY ONE DAY AND TRUELY HAVE HIS OWN KIDS TO SUPPORT. IN THESE CASES,I AGREE THAT THE MEN ARE THE VICTIMS AND THE MOTHER SHOULD BE LIABLE FOR THE LIES THAT WERE TOLD. WHAT PEOPLE FAIL TO REALIZE IS THAT EVERY WOMAN KNOWS WHO FATHERS HER CHILD.

Posted by: BRIDGET | January 31, 2007 02:49 AM

Solution is simple, married or not, DNA test mandatory before any Child Support order. If the Mother can't prove that she can pay for houseing for herself, keep food on the table and pay at least minimal upkeep for a child, it should be put up for adoption or the father should have a chance to take over. I'm being sarcastic about this part, but charge about $50 per visit, make the kids a pay per view so that Mom has to let the father visit if she wants the money. Child support to me is the stupidest most miserable idea ever. How is it that when I'm married no one gives a crap if my kids have insurance or what they get, yet in divorce, bingo - kids must have insurance, they need a certain amount of money. Every Mom I know - and I MEAN EVERY Mom, who gets support are all smiles when that check comes in so they can head off to Target and play super Mom buying the kids clothes and toys that the kid would not get if Mom was married. My friend had most of his check garnished, Mom looked like a superhero buying Playstations and things for the kids, and when they visited Dad, they had nothing and Mom was even such a wench as to chastize hiim for not buying them duplicate toys at his place to play with, or sending expensive gifts for b-days. He lost his house by the way!!! Foreclosed due to inability to pay taxes after support. This man has nothing now, can't pay support, as soon as the money stopped, so did visits. And know what else? The kid is NOT EVEN HIS. He owes so much in arrears and this is Texas so if he even sets foot in a court to challenge things, he'll first chance getting arrested on the spot, AND he bears burden of getting the ex wench to submit to DNA. Most courts just want money..........and boy do I have a plan to help the system. Money laundering anyone? Court, especially Texas doesn't give a squat WHERE you get the money, you can rob Granny, a bank or hop over to old Mexico for some drug money. Trust me, it'll catch on and America won't know what it got itself into.

Posted by: Adrianna | February 7, 2007 10:19 AM

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