Raped as a child and now forced to pay back child support.

Rachel Fitch

Nick O., 24, enjoyed living his life as a young adult until one day he discovered that he owes more than $15,000 in child support for a daughter that he never knew he had.

When Mr. O. was 14 years old he had relations with a 20 year-old woman. During their relationship Mr. O. felt like the woman took advantage of his young age; however, he never considered pressing charges. In the state of Arizona anyone younger than 15 years old cannot consent to having sex with an adult. Therefore, by Arizona state law Mr. O. is considered a rape victim.

It wasn't until two years ago Mr. O. found out that the woman got pregnant and bore their child. When Mr. O. was served he panicked and ignored the legal documents where the mother was asking for a paternity test.

Since he ignored the request for a paternity test and did not start paying child support the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) defaulted him, got an order naming him as the father, and seized his bank account and is now garnishing his wages. DCSS has the authority to enforce child support; however, DCSS is required to notify parents before taking any enforcement actions. If you ignore it, it only gets worse.

In Mr. O. case, he now owes $15,000 in back child support, plus medical bills for the birth of the child, and a 10% interest. Now, every month $380.00 is deducted from his paycheck.

According to Arizona law, parents in the same situation as Mr. O. have to pay back child support and ongoing child support unless the person seeking child support has been found guilty of sexual assault with a minor or sexual assault.

If you have questions regarding your child support payments or need assistance enforcing child support payments please contact Owens & Perkins, Attorneys at Law at (480) 630-2464. We offer a complimentary ½ hour consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys.

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