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Man crawls away--literally--from making child support payments

While a divorce can be difficult for the couple that is separating, it can be particularly hard for the couple's children. Children going through a divorce often feel that they have to choose between their parents, or that one parent is abandoning them. The child's life is not made any easier when one parent decides not to pay his or her legally required child support payments. In Massachusetts, failing to pay child support can have serious consequences.

A man in Chicago went to great lengths to avoid the consequences of failing to pay nearly $70,000 in child support. As police were executing a warrant to arrest the man at his office, they saw him drop to the floor and crawl down a flight of stairs. Police found the man in the basement of his office.

A child support order is issued by a court and obligates the non-custodial parent to pay to money to the custodial parent that will be used to support the child's financial needs. Child support payments are meant to cover the range of expenses associated with raising children. This includes paying for necessities such as food, housing and clothing. However child support payments generally also include educational expenses such as tuition, textbooks and other school-related expenses.

The non-custodial parent must follow the child support order exactly, even if the custodial parent makes an oral agreement to a different arrangement. The only way that the child support order can be modified is by the court itself.

Failing to pay child support can have serious consequences. If the custodial parent believes he or she is not receiving the proper amount of child support, that parent can institute an action to have the non-custodial parent held in contempt of court. This can then allow the court to withhold wages, intercept tax refunds, seize property and even hold the non-custodial parent in jail.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Steven Jones Child Support: Maywood Deadbeat Dad Tried To Crawl Away, Hide From Cops," March 31, 2013

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