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Should statutory rape victims be reponsible for child support?

Arizona residents may be aware of the state law specifying that a child under 15 years of age is not able to consent to any acts of sexual nature under any circumstances. A recent case of a man who was the victim of statutory rape at age 14 by a 20-year-old woman made headlines when the women filed for back child support for a daughter the man has never seen. He found out he was a father when he was served with the papers requesting child support. His wages are now garnished, and $380 is seized from his bank account per month.

The man stated that he should not be held responsible for acts he committed as a teenager or for payments for the time period before he knew he had a daughter. However, the Department of Economic Security stated that the child support is meant to ensure the child, who has no control over the situation, is cared for. Under the child support formula, the non-custodial parent is allowed to keep the first $903 to cover their living expenses. The remaining income is then treated as disposable, and the amount of the child support is based on that figure.

If the non-custodial parent does not comply with the verdict, the state has several ways to retrieve the money. Up to 50 percent of disposable income can be garnished along with putting a lien on the car or a house. Tax refunds can also be taken as well as revoking the passport and suspending the driver's license until the financial obligations are met.

An individual who is facing child support predicaments may want to seek advice from a legal professional. Each situation is different, and all circumstances should be reviewed to decide on the best course of action that will be beneficial for all parties involved.

Source: USA Today, "Statutory rape victim forced to pay child support", Alia Beard Rau, September 02, 2014

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