I am a disabled veteran been home almost 3 yrs not working. While I was here I had a relationship. I was accused of being the father of a child. I disputed however I wasn't here to go to court. I missed my date (that I didn't know about). I was identified a father cause I wasn't there to defend myself. FOC came after my money and got it. Because I wasn't here is the same as admittance. In the past 2.8 years I haven't really worked and they suspended my license.., Can you help?
Criminal Defense Attorney
Why are there arrears? If there is a legitimate reason, such as unemployment, you (the "obligor") can still file for a reduction in them. At the minimum, a motion should be filed to have any interest penalties set aside, which can increase drastically (double or triple the amount owed).
Estate Planning Attorney
While your questions are not entirely clear, it sounds you like you have three different issues going on here.
First, you say you are a veteran who has missed various hearings. If you were in active service and failed to be served correctly, then there may be protections to help you. I suggest contacting the Veteran's Law Clinic at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.
Second, you say that you were found to be father, but that you are not sure that you are. Was DNA taken? From your question, it does not sound like it. Michigan has a new Revocation of Paternity Law. Under this law, you may be able to petition for removal of the order of affiliation legally making you the child's father, if a DNA test proves that you are not the father and the court determines that it is not in the best interests of the child for you to be required to maintain paternity anyway. You will continue to accrue responsibility for child support until paternity is revoked, so I encourage you to find an attorney to make the initial filing in a revocation case ASAP.
Finally, you are behind in child support. You also state that you are disabled and unemployed. Attorney Dallo is correct that you need to immediately file for a reduction along with a motion to set aside penalties and interest. If you have evidence of why you cannot work, put it together. Do you receive SSDI? Do you receive veteran's disability compensation payments for active service injuries? If so, put together paperwork showing that your income is based on these, not on currently earned income, and include this paperwork as an exhibit with your reduction request.
My answers are merely suggestions for the questioner to consider, not legal advice within an attorney-client relationship. Resolving legal issues requires careful consideration of all relevant facts along with thorough research, and I cannot provide a complete answer with the limited information provided. No attorney-client relationship is established through my answer. I am happy to provide free 15 minute phone consultations on family law issues for residents of Oakland and Wayne counties.
The law provides for the suspension of licenses for failure to pay support (after a certain sum). There is more here than just the suspended license, and that other issue may be key and controlling. If you were named as the father by default (failing to appear for a hearing), you have certain rights available under the Revocation of Parentage Act. When you state you had no notice of a court hearing, the court should be made aware of that fact, and that fact would more than likely be included in a motion for revocation.
I strongly urge you to retain the services of an experienced family law attorney to file the necessary legal documents to contest the paternity of the child. If genetic testing establishes that you are the father, than no ground lost. If genetic testing establishes that you're not the father, then the ballgame should be over. Either way it goes, you'll at least have confirmation of whether or not you are the father.
Neil M. Colman
Mr. Colman is licensed to practice law in Michigan. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Colman strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.