Many of us know of or have heard of someone owing back payments of child support. Called arrears, there are many reasons why someone with a support order has not paid all the money owed to date, including unemployment, large medical bills or simple not wanting to adhere to the order. Recently, a man in Chicago took owing child support to a new level: he owes over half a million dollars.
Although a warrant was issued for his arrest in 2008, the father of three evaded police for 5 years. Finally caught, he was subsequently released on bail and is due back to court soon to address the $555,876 he owes in back payments. While it is rare for police to arrest someone for failure to pay child support, it is an enforcement option. Usually, less severe penalties are attempted first, such as garnishing wages, intercepting tax refunds or suspending a professional license.
If the amount owed by the man mentioned here seems high, note that the amount of a support order usually depends upon many factors, including the number of children supported, the income of each parent and the needs of the children, including any medical needs. Each situation is unique and is treated as such. When a support order is first made, it attempts to capture the needs of the children and the finances of the parents as accurately as possible at that time. Because it is a snapshot in time, it is possible to modify an order as needs and finances change.
A child support order can be modified for a number of reasons, including a parent losing a job or earning more money than noted in the original order, increased financial needs of the children or a change in one or both of the parents’ marital status. A support modification can be temporary or permanent, depending on the circumstances. In either case and in all matters concerning children, a judge will always look to what is in the best interest of the child when making a determination. The laws and rules surrounding child support orders and modifications vary in each state; an Arizona attorney with child support experience can answer any questions addressing specific situations.
Source: ndcchicago.com, “Man who owes $550,000 in child support arrested,” March 27, 2014