Running away won't fix an unfair child support order

It is important to understand child custody and child support in Florida and to have a legal advocate by your side during those determinations, so that you are not being taken advantage of by your spouse. In the event your finances change after the divorce, an attorney can also help you request a modification of a child support order with a court. Unfortunately, the man in today's posting utilized neither of those options.

The man, who had been absent from his child's life for 19 years and had become delinquent in his child support payments, moved to Hawaii to avoid the consequences. Apparently, the man believed Hawaii to be too remote a location for extradition. However, he was lured back to the United States after a bounty hunter, pretending to be a movie producer, recruited him on Facebook with the promise of a cameo appearance in a new romantic comedy starring Jennifer Aniston. The bounty hunter pretended that one of his talent scouts had heard the man giving a café performance. After the plane touched down, local authorities arrested the man -- at which point the ruse was up. The man spent 42 days in jail and pleaded guilty for willful failure to pay child support.

Courts in Florida endeavor to be fair in determining child support obligations. They do this by relying on state guidelines that consider several factors, including the net income of both parents, payment of health insurance for the children, childcare payments, educational costs, and the amount of time-sharing included in the shared parenting plan.

Of course, it is essential that an accurate picture of the martial assets be presented to the court. For that reason, courts frequently issue orders preventing either spouse from changing the financial status quo of the marriage after a divorce action has begun. That freeze may prohibit selling, transferring or borrowing against marital property; borrowing or selling insurance held for the other spouse; modifying beneficiaries on policies; changing bank accounts; or destroying or hiding assets until after the final divorce decree is entered by the court.

Finally, in the event that a parent's finances change down the road, a request for modification of a child support order may be filed with a court. If you have concerns about how child support will be computed in your divorce, an attorney can fight to ensure that any support obligations are fairly determined.

Source: MSNBC, "Jennifer Aniston movie role lures deadbeat dad home to face $43K bill, arrest," Randee Dawn, July 9, 2012

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