Forced to pay thousands of dollars of child support for child he’d never even met, a Texas man hopes that the courts will finally rule in his favor and put an end to his financial responsibility. After he was listed as the father on the baby’s birth certificate, Willie Carson has been entrenched in a court battle for 13 years.
“There were days that I didn’t eat. I went without electricity,” Carson told KHOU-TV.
Despite DNA tests that prove Carson did not father the child, he has paid thousands in child support over the course of more than a decade.
The child’s mother has now finally submitted a letter to the court stating Carson is not her daughter’s dad—which Carson hopes will help his case.
Although the letter absolves him of any future payments, Carson said that he still owes $21,000 in back payments, and is still being held responsible for that sum by the courts.
According to the Texas Attorney General’s Office, it is not unusual that Carson is still expected to make payments on the $21,000 balance, even though he is no longer ordered to pay child support.
According to the Attorney General’s FAQ:
“If testing excludes a man as the child’s biological father, the court may terminate the parent-child relationship and the duty to pay future child support. The man is still responsible for arrears that accrued up to the termination date, as well as for interest that accrues after the termination date.”
Carson isn’t giving up, and hopes the court will ultimately rule to waive the large amount of back money that is owed.
“I learned a lot of valuable lessons in all of this,” Carson said. “I never gave up. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.”