While a divorce in Massachusetts dissolves a marriage, it also creates a set of legally binding promises between the ex-spouses. One such obligation is child support, in which the non-custodial parent promises to make payments to the custodial parent.
Federal authorities arrested a man that they have labeled as the nation's most-wanted deadbeat parent. The man was ordered to pay child support to his first wife in 1995. The man made his child support payments for about two years, but then stopped when he remarried in 1997. The man also owed child support to his second wife. In total, federal authorities say that the man owed over $1 million.
In 2000 the man fled the country to avoid warrants that were issued for his arrest. He was found in the Philippines and deported back to the U.S., where he was arrested.
The man pleaded guilty to traveling across state lines and overseas to avoid making his child-support payments.
A child support order legally obligates a non-custodial parent to make regular payments to the custodial parent. The purpose of these payments is to help provide for the child's financial needs. The commonwealth takes failure to pay child support very seriously. If a parent does not to pay child support, the commonwealth can garnish that parent's wages or bank account. The commonwealth can even suspend the parent's driver's license until the parent pays all delinquent child support payments.
If a parent is having trouble making payments, they should not stop making payments. Instead, they might be able to ask a judge for a post-divorce modification of the child support payments, if they can show that there has been a significant change in circumstances since the divorce.
Source: New York Times, "Deadbeat Father Pleads Guilty to Evading Child Support," Mosi Secret, Feb. 21, 2013