Men owe child support despite not being fathers


by Drew Karedes / KHOU 11 News

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 1 at 10:40 PM

HOUSTON—A new estimate shows an overwhelming number of child support owed statewide in Texas. According to the Texas attorney general’s office, there is nearly $11 billion of unpaid child support to date.

The attorney general’s office says the majority of those who don’t pay, have the ability to do so, but choose not to.

On the opposite spectrum, there are a small percentage of men who pay child support for kids that aren’t theirs. A family law attorney in Houston estimates that there are more than 120,000 men in this predicament in Texas.

A new state law says men no longer have to make child support payments if they can prove the child is not theirs. However, there appears to be a loophole in that law.  It does not erase back child support.

“Any income, they just take it.  I don’t understand why. I got documents saying, I ain’t the daddy, zero percent the daddy,” explained Ray Thomas, of Houston.

A paternity test came back with a 0 percent probability that Thomas is the father of a girl born in 1986.

Thomas said the results of that test weren’t a surprise for him, but he hoped it would clear him of the money he owed the state.

He owes more than $50,000. More than $13,000 of that is in interest.

“They (are) just going to give you a kid. You know, that ain’t right,” Thomas added.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office acknowledged that it was aware of Thomas’ situation.