Child support continues to make headlines across our country, a result of difficult financial times. However, while the economy has been difficult on everyone, children still need to eat and have a roof over their heads. Child support in California and other states is based on a percentage of income. The payment is considered a priority and may not be discharged in bankruptcy. Unfortunately, almost every day we read about people in arrears, facing arrest and other consequences for failure to meet their obligation.
Most states provide a mechanism for reducing child support payments when there has been a substantial change in circumstances. If a person is making $75,000 a year on his job, a certain child support figure is established based on that income. If the individual gets laid off and is only able to find a replacement job earning $50,000 annually, a petition may be made to reduce child support payments in accordance with the new salary. A court would then listen to all the facts and circumstances and decide whether or not a reduction was warranted.
Absent a successful modification petition, the obligation is due as per the original order. In some states, failure to pay child support is a felony. Former University of Michigan basketball star Jimmy King was arrested in Detroit in August and charged with felony failure to pay child support of more than $17,000, covering the period from 2008 to 2011. The charge is punishable by a prison term of up to four years. A member of the UM Fab Five team that reached the NCAA Championship game two years in a row, King now runs basketball camps and has a solar technology business. Bail was set for the basketball star at $3,500.
Collecting child support is no easy matter, despite the many procedures in place designed to help secure payment. Obtaining a judgment is often just half the battle. In California, an attorney dedicated to representing individuals experiencing child support problems may offer some assistance and guidance to obtain a just result.
Source: Detroit Free Press, “Former Fab 5 star Jimmy King arrested for back child support,” Naomi R. Patton, Aug. 11, 2011