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He's Not the Dad, but He Still Owes Child Support

Joe Vandusen says Iowa needs to change its laws
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2016 11:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – Joe Vandusen had long ago moved on from his estranged wife, whom he split with but never divorced 16 years ago. Then he received a letter from state human services officials in February: "I opened it up and it was child support, for a kid that is not even mine," he tells WQAD. (The station's story is told in this YouTube video, too.) Vandusen, who lives in Davenport, says he can't be the father of his wife's 1-year-old child because he hasn't had any contact with her since they broke up. An official told him that doesn't matter.

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Under Iowa law, Vandusen is legally responsible for any child born during the marriage, even if he isn't the biological father. "It shows Iowa needs to change their laws," he says. Vandusen, who cares for two biological children as well as two others with his girlfriend of five years, adds that he might take the case to court. (A Detroit man faced a similar problem.)

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