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Mistaken identity: Wrong man sought for child support

A father in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, is finding out how complicated state systems can be as he is unable to separate himself from a case of mistaken identity that has lasted almost two years.

According to the man, the Wayne County Friend of the Court was attempting to collect about $12,000 in back child support. However, he is not the father they are looking for. Though the man's address was right, other information, including his name, the age of his daughter, the named mother he's never met and the Social Security number were all incorrect.

The troubles began in September of 2010, and though the man has attempted to sort out the problem, he had gotten nowhere because of call center workers who did not believe his story. Even through letters, the man has hit a dead end. As the largest in Michigan, Wayne County Friend of the Court is dealing with more than a quarter of a million cases similar to this one.

Recently, because of the trouble, the man found his driver's license was suspended. He contacted Wayne County Friend of the Court in desperation only to find out the case could take months to straighten out.

A call to the Michigan Department of Human Services by a reporter in Lansing helped the man not only get in contact with a member of the Wayne County Friend of the Court, but cleared him of the child support payments and suspended license.

Even though he was not the father, the man faced immense problems, time consumption and other penalties parents face when they fail to make child support payments. Using an attorney, he may have been able to avoid the penalties and end the issue at an earlier date.

Source: Lansing State Journal, "Child support web entangles the wrong man in Eaton Rapids," Mark Mayes, May 10, 2012

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