Man Ordered To Pay Almost $65K In Child Support For Child That Isn't His

About 16 years ago, a Texas man dated a woman. Shortly after they went their separate ways, she had a child and was convinced that the man was her baby's father. Without a paternity test, a judge took her word for it and put out a court order for child support.

Today, the man is facing steep fines and even jail time for failure to pay child support for a child he never knew existed. Making matters worse, a paternity test proves it's not even his baby.

Gabriel Cornejo says he had no idea what became of his ex-girlfriend that he dated in 2003. He says he had no idea she had a child, or that she has been going to court to get child support from him.

He claims he never got any notification about it from the courts.

The now-45-year-old man went on with his life. He got married. He has three children of his own, and is raising two of his brother's children.

When Cornejo was told he might have a 16-year-old daughter from his former lover, he wanted to do the right thing. Cornejo met with the girl once, and says, "She's a wonderful girl.... Very smart. A lot going on for herself."

Cornejo, his wife, his ex-girlfriend and mother of the child, decided together that the best move to make would be to get a paternity test done. He went, but it didn't turn out the way anyone expected. "The results came in," Cornejo said. "I'm not the father."

Cornejo's ex-girlfriend was stunned because she says she doesn't believe there could be any other possible father. She's pursuing the child support case against Cornejo, even though the blood test shows he's not related to her daughter.

More surprisingly, the court is upholding the child support order.

Apparently, court records show that a notice was mailed to Cornejo within a few years of the child's birth. One record shows that a small amount was even garnished from one of his paychecks.

Since he never disputed it then, it was as good as an admission of paternity, according to the legal system.

But Cornejo says he never noticed money missing from a single paycheck, nor did he receive child support orders. If he did, he claims he would have done something about it back then. His attorney argues that you can't fight something if you don't know it's happening.

But the baby momma's attorney says he is negligent because he should have taken care of it. "Don't stick your head in the sand because it's not going to go away," he said. "There can be consequences even if you don't do anything."

For Cornejo, though, the bottom line is the fact that the child doesn't belong to him. He's still going to face fines and possible jail time, however, if he doesn't comply with the court order to pay $65,000 in support arrears.

Cornejo is due in court in August and is hoping that a judge will be willing to reopen the case. He's also hoping that laws will be fixed to prevent such a thing from happening to other men.

Source: New York Post, ABC 7
Photos: NY Post Screenshot, Facebook via The Sun, Daily Mail, Shawn Hempel/123RF Stock Photo, zimmytws/123RF Stock Photo

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