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Ask the Divorced Guy!
by Dean Hughson
Title: I Found Out I am a Father Again
I have found out over a year ago that I have a 7 year old that I knew nothing
about. I live in Florida and the mother and child live in NY, she moved there
from California when the child was about 1 year old. One day I get served
papers from the state of NY wanting money and support. I took the paternity
tests and yes she is my daughter. I do not deny that now and realize that I
have another obligation now. I have three children, one from a previous
marriage and one from the woman that I am married to now and of course this
little girl in NY. The mother wants 7 years back support, I guess it is the
state that wants it since she has been on state assistance all of these years.
My question is this?
1. Can the state get the back even though I knew nothing of the child ?
2. How can they take more money from me when I am paying child support for 1 other child already? How does the formula work?
I'm not an attorney so I don't know how it will work. You need to find an attorney quickly because you still have time to get counsel and figure out what are your rights and responsibilities. Take a look at NY divorce law information at Divorce Source and perhaps you can find an attorney to help you in the same town as your child lives.
What is equally important in my mind is to formulate a way as to how you will stay involved in your child's life. Children need both parents in their lives. This is a major problem with the distance involved but you can do it. I would suggest you get involved with a group like the National Congress For Fathers and Children-Florida division (http://www.polaris.net/~ncfc-fla/) who can help you answer your questions and also with how to stay involved in your children's lives.
Dean Hughson, called the Dear Abby of Divorced Dads by the KC Star, is the founder of the DIVORCE HOMEPAGE. He has talked to thousands of people contemplating divorce, going through divorce, or the chaos afterwards and gives referrals and advice. He resides in Nevada, the state with the highest divorce rate in the US.
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