Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Enforcement of Child Support

It seems that even the rich and famous are not immune from child support enforcement statutes. Bobby Brown was arrested yesterday for non-payment of child support to the mother of his two older children. Unfortunately, there are many cases out there regarding fathers/mothers who aren't paying their Court Ordered Child Support. There is a long standing argument that a person cannot pay their child support if they are in jail, so provisions that allow a warrant for some one's arrest for failure to pay child support are not able to provide the relief for which they are designed. While I see merit in this argument, most people do not go to jail for failure to pay their child support unless it is shown that they had the ability to pay and chose not to. If someone had the ability to pay, and are threatened with a warrant for their arrest, more often than not, they find a way to come up with the money that they need to bring their arrears current. I can guarantee that Mr. Brown was not paying his child support because he didn't have the ability to do so, therefore, an arrest warrant was very effective in getting him to pay his child support. In order to avoid issues regarding non-payment of support, I always encourage my clients to have an Income Deduction Order (a/k/a wage garnishment) in place so there is no question that a party pays their support obligation.

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