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The ramifications of delinquent child support payments

All children deserve their parents' love and support, both emotionally and financially, even when a marriage falls apart. Family law governing child support, which varies from state to state, ensures that children obtain the financial support needed for their everyday expenses. In Missouri, for example, the amount is calculated using the Child Support Calculation Worksheet. Once the amount is determined, the support is expected to continue until the child reaches the age of maturity.

Failure to pay child support impacts not only the children, but also the supporting parent. A parent who makes delinquent payments is subject to fines and even criminal charges. More importantly, the needs of the recipient child are not met.

The stories of parents who dodge their responsibilities are nothing new. Recently, a father dubbed as the "most wanted deadbeat parent" in the country was sentenced to more than two years of imprisonment. He was also ordered to pay $900,000 of the estimated amount of $1.2 million in unpaid child support he owes. The father has three children from two marriages that ended in divorce.

The father had eluded the authorities by moving first to Florida and then to Thailand. In 2012, he was apprehended in the Philippines after he failed to show valid identification and was extradited to the United States.

Although this may be an extreme case, this type of situation can happen to anyone who is not responsible enough to face their child support obligations. Sometimes, however, supporting parents experience financial difficulties because of unemployment or health problems. In that case, they may ask for a modification of the court's child support ruling.

Source: Saratogian.com, "Country's Most-Wanted Deadbeat Parent Sentenced to Prison, Owes $1.2 Million in Child Support," May 22, 2013

Joseph J. Porzenski
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