Missouri Husband and wife separate.
Fourteen months later, wife gives birth to a child.
Husband and wife advise Missouri’s child support enforcement agency that Husband is not the biological father of the baby.
But since the couple was still legally married, the state declared Husband to be the father and liable for child support.
At one point, he was incarcerated for non-payment.
Six years later, the Missouri Supreme Court recently ruled, however, that Husband could not be incarcerated without a hearing and an opportunity to prove that he is not the biological father of the child.
That’s because Husband was determined to be the father by the child support agency rather than a court.
But even if Husband wins the hearing, that is, proves to the Court that he is not the father, that just means that he can’t be incarcerated for non-payment.
He can still be compelled to pay by other means.
Because he didn’t challenge the determination in a timely fashion.
Some states, including Florida, have amended similar laws – but only if the alleged father timely proves that he is not the biological father.
That still would not have helped Husband here.