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Father catches up on back child support, still sentenced to jail

Raising a child is not easy. Every parent in Minnesota likely realizes this. And when two parents are no longer together, the stresses of raising a child can be even greater on a custodial parent. In order to ease some of the anxiety associated with this type of parenting, judges will often require that a non-custodial parent contributes financially by ordering child support.

Child support is a financial obligation that many parents in Minnesota will be required to comply with and judges take delinquency very seriously, which means that parents who fail to make payments could end up facing penalties, including jail time. For example, one man in another state was recently sentenced to 180 days in jail for failing to make child support payments. It was a pretty strict penalty, especially considering that he did not owe any child support.

According to reports, the man had been paying child support for his 11-year-old son when the payments were modified without his knowledge. His employer had been withholding erratic sums of money over the past several weeks before the man learned that he owed $3,000 in back child support. He immediately paid the $3,000 to his ex and thought that would take care of it.

However, his ex also wanted the man to pay $3,000 more to cover her legal fees Citing the legal fees and the man's failure to comply with a visitation schedule, the judge sentenced the father to jail. As the father pointed out, however, a jail sentence will only make it harder for the man to continue paying child support and stick to a visitation schedule. It is also inappropriate, considering the fact that he is no longer behind on his payments. 

This case is truly unfortunate, as there seems to be no winners. It also highlights just how quickly a person can end up facing serious penalties for child support violations. Before it gets to this point, a Minnesota parent who owes or is owed child support may want to consider speaking with an attorney. Doing so can make it easier for parents to reach an agreement without putting a child's care and well-being on hold.

Source: Fox 26, "Father pays outstanding child support, still gets jail time," Randy Wallace, Jan. 3, 2014

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