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Child support back payments could result in criminal charges

Sometimes in the news, there are stories of parents who try to avoid paying child support. One man even fled to another country to avoid making payments.

There are a number of reasons why a parent may not be able to or want to pay the monthly payments. There could be a shift in finances, especially if the parent was employed and then lost his or her job. The parent may avoid payments because life circumstances have changed and he or she now has more mouths to feed. Or the parent could simply be hurt by the divorce process. Whatever the reason, avoiding child support payments can have certain penalties, as one man recently discovered.

In 2003, the man was ordered to pay child support following his divorce. He and his ex-wife have two children together. The monthly payments were a little over $1,000 yet the man failed to pay the amount over the next several years. This resulted in nearly $100,000 of child support back payments.

When he appeared in court, it was obvious that the judge was not happy with him or the situation. The man was convicted of a gross misdemeanor for his failure to pay child support. As a result, he was sentenced to probation for the next three years and has to begin paying off what he owes in child support.

The court is requiring the man to report his status each month. The man is currently employed but if he loses his job and misses payments, he will be put in jail. After all, the judge reminded him, this kind of situation leads to criminal charges and will result in penalties.

Source: The Record-Courier online, "Deadbeat dad ordered to pay nearly $100,000 in child support," Sheila Gardner, 22 February 2011

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