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Child support modifications can benefit families and parents

Providence residents may want to take notice at how serious the issue of child support can be for families. Two New York men showed the country the complexities that can come with prison terms for nonpayment of monthly child support.

One accused father was ordered by a Nassau County Judge to pay child support in the amount of $750 for his two daughters in 1995. Child support was paid for a little over two years, totaling $87,000, before payments ceased in 1997. The accused father married and divorced a second time and acquired an additional weekly child support obligation of $625.

Another New York father was ordered to pay $10,000 a month and fled to Bangladesh to avoid making the payments. While both men owe seven figures in back child support, they may also face up to four years in prison. Yet it is difficult to see how being in prison would serve the best interests of the children involved.

There are a number of factors that can warrant to a modification of child support payments. These factors can include the loss of a job, increaes or decreases in earnings of either party, incurring financial obligations to other children, and increased day care or health care costs for children. If at any time there is a substantial change for either of the parties involved, it is vital that they agree to a change in child support or have a judge order the modification.

In this instance, it appears that the additional child support payments may have become overwhelming for one of the accused fathers. This would qualify as a significant change in circumstances, however because the accused never went to court to get a modification, he is still obligated to pay the amount in arrears.

Life is ever changing. When circumstances change, the answer is not to run away, but to attempt to communicate with the other party about the situation. In the end, courts are another option to request a modification to avoid overwhelming massive payments or jail time.

Source: The New York Times, "Huge Child-Support Debt Doesn't Ensure Time in Jail," Mosi Secret, Dec. 30, 2012

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