A man who paid almost $60,000 in child support payments has slammed the Child Support Agency after a DNA test revealed he was not the father.
Fisherman Kerry was a local footy star when he had a one-night stand with Julie, 11 years his senior, almost 20 years ago.
He said Julie left town after finding out she was pregnant, but told Kerry the child was his.
He began paying child support, but his work as a seasonal fisherman meant his income ebbed and flowed, and soon he was drowning in debt.Kerry, a fisherman, found out he had been paying child support for 18 years for a daughter that was not his. (A Current Affair)
“The bills started to pile up and I had to take action because if I didn’t, they would,” Kerry told A Current Affair.
“The first time they froze my account was during a fishing season. I had my passport frozen and told that it wouldn’t be reinstated until I had paid the bill in full.
“I had $26,000 taken out.”
But Kerry continued making the payments for 18 years, despite his suspicions something was not right.Mum Julie said she and her daughter truly believed Kerry was the father. (A Current Affair)
“Even at the start he was like, ‘I don’t know how I can be the father, because there’s quite a few suitors going around here,” his wife Shannon said.
So Kerry contacted the agency.
“The consultant from Child Support, when he asked me, I can’t see a result for a DNA test here, I said, ‘Because I didn’t have one’,” Kerry said.
“And he pretty much on the phone called me a stupid idiot and to go and get one done as soon as I could.”A DNA test finally confirmed Kerry was not the father. (A Current Affair)
Not only did the DNA test prove Kerry was not the father, there was another shock in store.
Kerry learned Julie had lied to the Child Support Agency that they were living together at the time her child was conceived, which led to Kerry being hounded for fortnightly payments.
Julie issued a statement to A Current Affair saying that for 18 years she and her daughter believed Kerry was the father.
“Over the last 18 years Kerry has had the chance to get a DNA test but as myself and Child Support could never get in contact with him, it never happened, and now he is coming out with accusations that are unfounded and untrue,” she said.Kerry has paid more than $58,000 in child support over the years. (A Current Affair)
Julie has been ordered to repay the money, but as she does not work, she can only afford instalments of $49.80 a fortnight.
Kerry is more angry that the Child SUpport Agency let it get so far.
He believes the agency should reimburse him, rather than Julie.Kerry’s wife Shannon said the money he had paid over the years would have changed their lives. (A Current Affair)
“I’ve been hassled non-stop by Child Support, but the reason they thought I was the dad wasn’t right,” he said.
“They accepted me as the father without any proof. That’s what makes me angry, really.
“This proves I’m not the dad, so where’s my money?”
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