Florida man ordered to pay child support even though DNA test proves he is not the father after state officials appeal judge’s decision to stop payments
- Joseph Sinawa, of Saint Johns County, Florida, signed the birth certificate of the child when it was born because he believed he was the father
- But when he tried to get visiting rights, a court-ordered DNA test proved he was not the biological parent
- A judge in St. Augustine ordered the child support to end
- But the Florida Department of Revenue appealed the decision
- It means Sinawa has to continue paying until the situation is resolved in court
- Sinawa says the mother does not want him to pay – but the state insists he does
A man has been ordered to pay child support despite a DNA test proving he isn’t the biological father.
Joseph Sinawa, of Saint Johns County, Florida, signed the birth certificate of the child when it was born because he believed he was the father.
He said he planned to be there for the child financially, and was paying a third of his paycheck in support.
But when he went to a courthouse in St. Augustine last year to obtain visiting rights for the child, a judge ordered a DNA test that would determine paternity.
Sinawa says he was ’emotionally devastated’ to learn he was not the father.
A DNA test ordered by a judge proved that Joseph Sinawa is not the father , but the Florida Department of Revenue has appealed the ruling
Despite this ruling by a Florida judge terminating child support requirements for Joseph Sinawa, he is still ordered to pay while the state appeals the decision
‘At the time it had been taking $83 out of my paycheck, more than 1/3 of my pay,’ he told First Coast News. ‘When I thought I was the father I didn’t have a problem with it.’
But while the judge ordered the child support to end, the Florida Department of Revenue appealed the decision.
The appeal means Sinawa has been forced to continue paying child support until the situation is resolved in court – even though he says the mother is OK with him no longer paying.
‘She told the judge she just wants this to be done and over with, and so do I.’ he said.
The courthouse in St. Augustine, Florida, where Joseph Sinawa will battle again to have child support ended as DNA proved he’s the biological father
St. Augustine Attorney Brandon Beardsley told First Coast News this is the first time he has seen this happen.
But he believes the state’s appeal will ultimately fail.
He said: ‘It was a waste of Florida taxpayer resources to appeal a decision when the end result is going to be the same.’
Sinawa is representing himself in court as he is tight on cash.
He added: ‘I don’t want to keep reliving what I’ve already had to go through.’