One man’s story shows high cost of not paying child support

In most states across the nation, including here in Arizona, there are penalties for failing to pay child support. Here in Arizona, our courts try to give parents who are delinquent on their payments a chance to remedy this error through Accountability Courts. Unfortunately, failing to comply with orders handed down by these courts can result in arrest, much like it is in other states.

But sometimes there is a higher cost to delinquent child support payments. One particular case is highlighting this fact by showing the lengths to which some states go in order to hold parents accountable for these payments.

Some of our readers here in Maricopa County may have seen news headlines lately about a 60-year-old man who is accused of failing to pay child support since 1996. According to the U.S. Office of Inspector General, he owes his ex-wife nearly $560,000 in unpaid child support and has been labeled “most wanted” by the federal office for failing to comply with court orders. His picture and some personal information have even been posted on the Internet.

Problems for the man began back in 1989 when the man was ordered to pay $100 a month to his ex-wife. He contended that being disabled and losing his job made him unable to pay the amount. A judge eventually reduced this amount, much as a judge here in Arizona might do for a parent in a similar financial situation. But court documents say that the man stopped paying in 1996 when he is said to have sold an Internet company for $2 million.

According to reports, the man’s last known whereabouts were in Michigan, though investigators admit they do not know where he is today. If he is found, he could face serious legal consequences, including a possible prison sentence and up to a $250,000 fine.

Source: The Blaze, “‘Most Wanted Deadbeat’ Dad Sought for Owing Half a Million in Child Support,” Liz Klimas, March 20, 2014

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