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Man arrested for not paying $57,000 in child support

Rhode Island residents know that family court law requires that parents continue to financially support their children even when they choose to go their separate ways. This requirement is necessary even when children are placed in the custody of a person other than a parent. Parents who fail to meet the court-enforced financial obligations are rendered criminals in the eyes of the law.

In a recent case illustrating this point, a father was arrested and charged with not paying $57,000 in child support. Also accused of breaking parole on a 2010 charge of felony assault, he is currently in custody with no bond and was traced through tips received by parole officers in response to an article carried by a local paper that featured the accused with other parents in arrears for child support.

While each state has a different guideline on enforcing child support payment, it can be a challenge tracking down a delinquent parent. Police work with family courts to ensure that evaders are quickly brought to justice. Additionally, depending on state laws, delinquent parents may have bank accounts and state tax returns seized, apart from losing unemployment and other state benefits.

Rhode Island law states that any parent in arrears can be jailed until a certain portion of the amount owed is paid. This is an unusual remedy used only for the most serious offenders.  Custodial parents who are not receiving child support payments may seek judicial advice and intervention to enforce such payments. The support parent is expected to make the payment. However, he or she is also entitled to a hearing and may only be penalized if there's a history of non-payment. In the case of financial hardship, any Warwick parent with a child support obligation may be entitled to a reduction in child support. A legal professional experienced in family law may provide the help a parent needs.

Source: lohud.com, "Tips lead to arrest of Stony Point dad accused of owing $57G in support", Steve Lieberman, April 1, 2014

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