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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Appeal of a Title IV court ruling in Texas

    There is a hearing coming up in a Title IV court on a paternity suit brought by the state against my teen daughter's father. The state has found that no statute limitation applies that would prevent them from seeking to establish paternity and support after all these years. His attorney has indicated that they will seek to appeal any decision to a higher court so that the statute issue can be argued outside of the Title IV court. Their purpose is to avoid DNA testing or any acknowledgment because he has kept my daughter's existence a secret from his entire family all these years. In fact, his attorney admitted that he does not want to take the test, because then he would have to pay support. This obiously implies to me and to my attorney that he KNOWS he's her father, but he doesn't want anyone else to know and he doesn't want to be held responsible.

    What would be the best way to circumvent this tactic to simply delay the inevitable as long as possible? I am the bio mother, but not the petitioner, and intend to appear as required. I have a pro bono attorney who does not specialize in family law. She suspects that he may choose to default and not appear at the Title IV hearing so that he can avoid an order for testing....even though he may be ordered to pay support by default. Can I reveal my belief of their intent to default and appeal and ask that the Title IV judge order DNA testing instead of a default order establishing paternity?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,656

    Default Re: Appeal of a Title IV court ruling in Texas

    She's bringing suit after "all these years" - how many years?

    What's the significance to you if there's a DNA test versus a default and a court judgment that he's the father?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Appeal of a Title IV court ruling in Texas

    The child is 13. He "stood up" a voluntary DNA test when she was 1 year and has repeatedly refused voluntary testing ever since. He knows that one other man may possibly be the father, but that he is the most probable sire.

    I don't want support from him if he is not her father, nor does my daughter want a relationship with him if he is not her real father. His response to the suit was vague and did not request testing....only requested recovery of attorneys fees, but did not give any grounds for same.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,656

    Default Re: Appeal of a Title IV court ruling in Texas

    If he's determined to be the child's father by default, legally speaking he's every bit as much the child's father as if that determination is made by DNA testing. If you're aware of another possible father (or fathers), and are going to be uncomfortable with a determination by default, perhaps you should approach him/them about DNA testing to rule him/them out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Appeal of a Title IV court ruling in Texas

    I would have done that long ago if I could have located the other man. (I only remember his first name). In any event, he is the least likely since he and I exercised precaution....unlike with the man who is the respondant to the paternity suit. I am more confident now that he is in fact the father because of her resemblance to him (by recent photos found on internet).

    My purpose in applying for the state's assistance was to force testing....not just to get support. If he is successful in avoiding testing, then we'll never know for sure. He and my daughter have never met, so he is a stranger to her. She has no presumed, adjudicated, or adopted father, so she would like to know if he is in fact her biological father...and so would I.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Appeal of a Title IV court ruling in Texas

    BTW, I didn't not prevent him from seeing her. That was his choice. He lived within a mile of us for the first 3 years of her life and never tried to see her.

    I am also convinced that he will not pay support pursuant to any default order, but will instead file his appeal before a finding of contempt can occur.

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