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