The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled in a Grundy County case that man who paid child support and then found out the baby wasn’t his can sue the mother to get his money back. Joseph Dier of Grundy Center voluntarily agreed to provide financial support to Cassandra Jo Peters after she told him he was the biological father of her baby girl who was born in February of 2009.
Dier later filed to get custody of the girl, and Peters knowing that Dier was not the father, asked for a paternity test. The test proved Dier was not the father, and he then sued Peters to recover the money he gave her for the child.
The district court threw out Dier’s claim based on standing law that does not allow a man to sue to recover court ordered child support if the man later finds out he is not the biological father of the child. In the first such ruling of its kind, the Iowa Supreme Court says this case does not fall under child custody law because Dier’s child support was not court-ordered.
The court says it is a case of common fraud, as Peters provided false information to Dier in order to get him to pay her money. The Supreme Court ruling says the case should go back to district court for a trial to determine if Peters should have to pay Dier back.
It says since the case is based on fraud and not the paternity issues, the case should not impact current laws regarding court-ordered child support.
See the complete ruling here: Child Support ruling PDF