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A 42-year-old California man was recently ordered to pay $62,000 in back child support payments and sentenced to five years probation. Additionally, The South Lake Tahoe, California, resident will have to keep up with current monthly payments owed to his daughter's mother. The judge also gave the man a three-year suspended prison sentence, and ordered him to abstain from alcohol and drugs.

The man pled guilty in August to attempted failure to support a child, and told the judge that his battle with addiction was making it more difficult for him to meet his obligations. He hadn't paid any child support at all since he was originally ordered to in 2002. He claimed his medical issues had made it impossible for him to pay his debt. With this settlement, he'll be able to avoid jail time if he meets the terms of his probation and makes the necessary payments.

The man said that he feels confident that he is on the right track, and said he wanted to be a part of his daughter's life. To do so, he'll have to be able to maintain full-time employment or provide proof that he's looking for work.

Whether a person is on the giving or receiving end of a child support mandate, the process itself can be complicated. The quest to find fair treatment in child support proceedings is often lengthy and laborious. Most parents find the services of qualified legal counsel to be invaluable -- strong legal representation may help expedite the process and help parents avoid issues with back payment by securing an acceptable agreement from the start.

Source: The Record-Courier, "Man ordered to pay $62,000 child support," Sheila Gardner, Sept. 20, 2011

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