In child custody cases, generally, the non-custodial parent is required to pay the custodial parent child support. Michigan residents may find it interesting to learn that a 2009 U.S. Census Bureau report states that the average amount of child support payments, based on the custodial arrangement or other informal agreement, is approximately $445 per month, which amounts to about $5,350 per year. However, the actual payment received is only about $280 per month or $3,350 per year. Many may not realize it, but there are ramifications for not paying court ordered child support.

Recently, a 39-year-old man who announced on a reality TV show that he has 27 children, and he has child support order for 21 of them, was arrested on a failure-to-appear warrant for a child support issue. He was later released.

Nevertheless, under current federal laws, when a parent ordered to pay child support fails to do so, their driving privileges may be taken away, wages may be garnished, financial accounts and other assets may be frozen and even a U.S. passport may be denied. Further, in certain cases, the non-custodial parent may be held criminally liable.

In the case of the 39-year-old man, he indicated that he was financial secure. However, after he lost his barbershop and barber’s license, he began having issues paying child support.

In today’s economy, many individuals, for no fault of their own, may have been laid off or may have experienced some event in their life which directly impacted their ability to pay child support. In such cases, it is important for the non-custodial parent ordered to pay child support to contact an experienced family law attorney to have the facts of one’s specific situation evaluated, to discuss legal options and determine if it a motion for child support modification is necessary. It is important to prevent the dire consequences of not paying child support.

Source: Norwalk Reflector, “Father of 27 owes child support,” Sept. 11, 2013.