OK Man Ordered To Pay Child Support Despite Not Being Father
TULSA, Oklahoma - An Oklahoma man is hoping to change the law after he was ordered to pay child support for a baby that’s not his.
Thomas said he wants to change the Oklahoma law in hopes of helping other men in the same situation.
When Thomas' high school girlfriend got pregnant, he married her. Five months later she had a little boy and he believed he had a son, but, as happens to a lot of young marriages, theirs fell apart.
The boy was three when Thomas decided to take a paternity test.
"It comes back zero percent. I was in my office and I saw that. I should've expected it but I didn't and it hit me. I'm telling my co-worker how shocked I am that someone could do this to someone," he said.
A judge ordered Thomas to take another DNA test. He did and got the same result.
At first, the judge ruled Thomas was off the hook financially, but then reversed that decision because Oklahoma law says men must question paternity within two years of the child's birth.
Thomas said he had no reason to question it before he did, but, because he missed the deadline, the judge ordered him to pay around $500 a month in child support, plus, nearly $15,000 in back support plus interest - all for a child that is not his.
"I wish I was telling a lie,” he said. “I wish it wasn't the truth but it is. That's what makes it so crazy. Everyone I talk to about this can't believe where the court system is coming from."
Thomas wants lawmakers to change the law. He believes DNA matters regardless of when a man learns he's not the father of a child, especially if the man was lied to, but it will be too late for him.
He said, “At this point, there's really nothing I can do to get out of the $15,000 or get out of the child support, it's done, it's the law."
The law basically says that once a child reaches two, the presumed father will be deemed to be the legal father under Oklahoma law.