It sounds like a movie script. A judge in Genesee County faces a lawsuit by another attorney for failure to pay child support. The attorney claims that the judge is the father of her two children but that he did not help support the children. Ironically, the judge is renowned for being an advocate for responsible fathers.
It is still unclear whether the children are the biological children of the judge and many factors in the case point to the likelihood of a paternity dispute. The lawsuit filed by the mother claims that she and the judge were involved in a secret romantic relationship for almost 20 years, up until he remarried last month.
The case was moved to Oakland County and the first step will likely be to determine whether the judge is actually the biological father of the children. At this point, the judge agreed that he had a friendship with the mother and that his name appears on the affidavit of parentage for the children only because he wanted to help them receive healthcare in the county.
The lawsuit alleges that the judge failed to provide both financial and emotional support to the two children, even though he is very vocal in his professional life about the importance of strong male role models. The two children are ages 16 and six, respectively. The mother alleges that the judge has paid less than $5,000 in support over the course of their lives.
For unmarried Michigan residents, if paternity is contested, a paternity determination is usually required to pursue child support from a biological father. Throughout this process, both mothers and fathers may want to seek legal representation to protect their rights, whether it is to protest paternity or to pursue support and recognition of parentage.
Source: M Live, “Paternity suit seeks $4 million from Genesee County judge known for scolding absent fathers,” Ron Fonger, Sept. 21 2012