A Nashville man says he paid thousands of dollars in child support for 12 years to only find out that he was not the biological father.
Antonio Davis told Nashville's News 2 when a woman he dated claimed he was the father of her child, he immediately became suspicious.
“I was told not to sign the birth papers without a blood test, but I was there and witnessing the child being born it was kind of hard for me not to think that this is not my child. So I did sign the papers in the hospital,” Davis explained.
Davis said on 12 different occasions he petitioned the Davidson County courts to approve a DNA paternity test, but was denied the requests.
“I went to court over 12 times and the mother never showed up at all. Davidson County held her in contempt of court three times, but I would go back to court and they would continue and continue the case,” Davis said.
In Davidson County, once a man signs a child's birth certificate he is legally obligated to care for that child.
While dealing with the court system Davis said thousands of dollars for child support continued to be deducted from paycheck.
The payments continued even when he was forced into disability because of a gunshot wound to the head.
While continuing to seek help, Davis learned his alleged child's mother had moved to Clarksville.
He then petitioned the Montgomery County courts and was granted a DNA test.
“I can not understand how I went to Davidson Court 12 times for a paternity test and never would get one. [I] went to Montgomery County and walked in and the judge said, 'You pay for it,' and it was over with in a week,” Davis said.
Davis said the DNA test revealed that the child was not his; however, he will more than likely not be able to get the money back he paid for child support.
Several federal cases involving men claiming paternity fraud have set a precedent that say they cannot recoup money paid out.
Davis said despite not being the child's father nearly $400 is still being deducted from his paycheck.
He is scheduled to go back to court February 28, though the court date will be too late to prevent next month's payment from being deducted.
- Feb. 6, 2012: More fathers seek out DNA tests to confirm paternity