A Colorado man who spent 11 years believing he had fathered a daughter with his ex-wife is now fighting to stop paying child support after discovering the girl isn’t actually his.
Chris Atkins, 48, is legally obliged to pay $730 each month to his ex wife, Lori Lonnquist, despite a DNA test recently proving he is not the child’s father.
Atkins says he had only been dating Lonnquist a ‘short time’ when she told him she was pregnant.
The two married in 2000 before the child was born, but split up two and a half years later, with Atkins paying child support ever since.
However during a fight, Lonnquist blurted out that the girl did not belong to Atkins, setting in motion a nasty parental rights battle, Fox 31 reported.
Atkins daughter is now 15, however he says he has not been allowed to see her for four years.
He says that while the courts can force him to pay child support, he is still not allowed visitation.
‘It doesn’t make any sense to me,’ Atkins told Fox 31.
‘I just want my daughter, but I can’t even see her, but yet I’m still paying child support. And the biological father has been found and he gets to spend time with her. I don’t get nothing.’
Lonnquist insisted Atkins abandoned any relationship with her daughter when he learned she wasn’t biologically his. Atkins denied that and said Lonnquist refused to facilitate visits.
Furthermore she is trying to get him to relinquish his parental rights, so that her daughter can take the surname of Lonnquist’s current partner, who she will soon marry.
Lonnquist said she would agree to stop collecting child support from Atkins if he would agree to terminate his parental rights.
When asked if she was being greedy by Fox, Lonnquist said: ‘Maybe, but I don’t feel bad about it, I really don’t.’
Legal experts say the process to give up parental rights is cumbersome, because it requires someone to step in and have their name recorded on the birth certificate.
The obvious choice would be the girl’s biological father, however he is not willing.
Atkins says he will continue to fight, but does not know what the outcome will be.
‘You know, I don’t want pity, I just want everybody to know this is happening,’ he said.
‘It’s not right, it is not right.’
As it stands, Atkins is required to continue to pay child support for another four years, until the girl is 19.
Story by The DailyMail.