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Arizona statutory rape victim ordered to pay child support

A 24-year-old Phoenix man, who reportedly had sex with a 20-year-old woman when he was 14, recently learned that he has a daughter. Even though he was legally below the consensual age, he is being pursued for back child support.

According to state law, no one under the age of 15 can legally give sexual consent. The man did not pursue charges against his now-ex at the time, not realizing that he could take action. The two of them parted company, and the young man went on to go to college and get a job as a medical assistant. He was served with papers demanding $15,000 in back child support along with interest and the child's medical expenses.

When the man found out that he was the father of a child he never knew about, his initial response was to panic and not act. He declined a paternity test, and the state finally tracked him down. His wages are being garnished every month, and he is faced with wanting to be a part of his daughter's life while feeling as though he should not be liable for what occurred when he was underage. This young man's case is one of 153,000 other active child support cases in Arizona.

Child support is often a difficult subject when one of the parents was underage at the time of the child's conception. Failure to pay child support can become a very costly problem that may cause difficulties for years afterward. Under Arizona law, the amount of time that a noncustodial parent spends with a child may result in a reduction in child support owed. Anyone who is facing difficulty over child support may benefit from a lawyer's advice.

Source: News 10, "Statutory rape victim forced to pay child support", Alia Beard Rau, September 02, 2014

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