Father faces jail time in unique child support dispute

No one doubts that taking care of one's children is in the best interest of the child. Depending on the custody arrangement, typically a non-custodial parent, that is, the parent who does not have physical custody of the child, is obligated by law to pay child support to the custodial parent for the upbringing of the child. However, sometimes the system may not work as expected.

Florida residents will find it interesting to learn that according to media reports, in an odd turn of events, a father in another state who says he was paying his monthly child support obligation, and who was allegedly told by the presiding judge at least two times that he did not owe any money, was sentenced by the judge to a 180-days in jail. In this case, even though the man's employer was apparently withholding child support payments from his paychecks, according to court paperwork, he was apparently delinquent on his monthly child support obligation, and owed about $3,000 to the mother of his 11-year-old son.

According to the reports, the man's original child support agreement, unbeknownst to him, had been modified. Further, the man's employer deducted the child support payments in various amounts. Some weeks more monies were deducted, other times less, and sometimes no money was deducted. Furthermore, his visitation schedule has been modified, allegedly without his knowledge. However, during a recent hearing, the man's ex-wife accused him of not observing the visitation schedule in place, and indicated through her counsel that she wanted him to bear the nearly $3000 legal fees she incurred in the proceedings. The judge apparently agreed and ordered the man to be jailed for 180-days.

When jailed, a parent obligated to pay child support is not employed, and cannot meet their payments while incarcerated. According to the man's attorney, jail time for this non-custodial parent, who has been paying child support, is not in the best interest of the child. The case is reportedly pending appeal. Situations like this make it clear that child support and visitation issues can be complex, and that it may be a good idea to know all of one's legal rights and obligations.

Source: News One, "Dad Overpays Outstanding Child Support And Still Winds Up In Jail," Ruth Manuel-Logan, Jan. 6, 2014

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