According to reports, a Florida man was arrested for owing over $90,000 in back child support. The arrears appears to have been related to a 2007 divorce, during which the man was ordered to pay $216 a week in child support to his wife. The couple was married for approximately eight years.
According to a press release from the U.S. attorney’s office, the man did make payments from August 2007 to March 2011, but many of them were reduced. In that 3.5-year span, the man paid a total of $12,150 in child support and was more than $60,000 behind as of October 2012. The man then apparently stopped making any payments at all, and as of March of this year, the arrears total went over the $90,000 mark.
The 51-year-old man entered in a guilty plea and waived his indictment. Even with the plea, he may face a fine of $250,000 and a prison sentence of two years. The man will also likely still have to pay the back child support. It was not clear from reports if the child was still a minor or if the original support order would continue in addition to the arrears.
While it may not seem like a big deal to skip a child support payment here and there, it can add up quickly. You can be hundreds and even thousands of dollars in arrears before you realize it. It’s also possible to find yourself in arrears if you change jobs, and it takes a month or two for your new employer to start taking the support out of your checks. It is possible in some circumstances to modify a child support order or make payments directly to the enforcement agency after changing jobs. Talking with a family lawyer is a first step to guarding against falling in arrears or catching up before legal action is taken.
Source: Bangor Daily News, “Florida man pleads guilty to not paying $90,000 in child support,” Judy Harrison, Sep. 16, 2015