Child support in California is a mandatory obligation

Readers in California may be interested to learn about the case of a so-called deadbeat parent. The man, who owed child support payments dating back to nearly his 1995 divorce recently pleaded guilty to avoiding the payments. He was arrested in Los Angeles after he re-entered the country last year.

According to the guilty plea, the man owed his ex-wife payments for child support that totaled more than $1.2 million. He was ordered to pay $750 per week at the time of the divorce. This amount was later raised to $995 per week to reflect a higher cost of living. However, after paying a total of $87,000 in child support, the man fled the country.

Last year he was taken into custody by authorities in the Philippines. He was deported and arrested in Los Angeles on warrants from the Inspector General's office stemming from his failure to pay. Now, like many parents who fail to pay child support in California, the man faces jail time and penalties.

A child support order is mandatory. A non-custodial parent is obligated to pay and cannot make changes or avoid payments without court intervention. Accordingly, non-custodial parents who fail to pay for the support of their children may find that, as is the case here, they face penalties and collection efforts from agencies tasked with collecting payments when they are not timely paid to the custodial parent of a child. Those non-custodial parents facing financial hardships would be best served by seeking help to file a petition with the court for a downward modification of future child support payments, based upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances.

Source: The New York Times, "Deadbeat Father Admits Fleeing to Escape Child Support," Mosi Secret, Feb. 22, 2013

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