Yes, it’s a serious matter. When you have children, the courts feel that the parents need to support them. And the parent that makes MORE money, or has LESS time with the children…or both, will be the obligor and will be required to pay child support to the mother.
Susan and Jim were together for a little over 10 years. They never got married, but during their relationship, they had two gorgeous children, now ages 3 and 6. Jim moved out a few years ago, and Susan went to court to get an order from the judge requiring Jim to pay to her $20,000 per month in child support.
Jim has a great job as a music producer, earning in excess of one million dollars per year, and Susan is a production assistant earning about $300,000. While the child support amount was quite large, he was capable of paying this…at least for a while. Jim has saved over the years about 55 million dollars, but he has had to shell out millions of dollars from this savings to settle lawsuits against him. Now, he is real estate rich and cash poor, and can no longer afford to pay Susan the $20,000 child support.
So, what does Jim do? He calls Susan and explains that he cannot pay. He explains that his business isn’t doing well, that he has more losses than income, and that she needs to understand.
Susan doesn’t “understand”. She calls her attorney. Together they go into court on a Motion for Contempt for Jim’s failure to follow the court order regarding child support. At this point, Jim has failed to pay ANYTHING for the past 6 months and owes back child support in the amount of $!20,000.00. Susan is demanding the full $120,000.00 as well as her legal fees and filing fees for the necessity of taking Jim to court.
Jim goes to court with a high-priced attorney, and explains that he cannot pay this, that he no longer has the earning ability that he used to have but that he would pay $5,000 right away, and pay the rest off when he can.
Even R. Kelly goes to jail for making this type of argument. And Jim is given a few days in jail as well. And when he is out, he STILL has to pay the full amount, including Susan’s attorney fees and filing fees.
What should Jim have done instead? When he first realized that his income stream was drying up, he should have contacted his attorney to file a motion to modify his child support. THEN, before the assigned hearing on his modification, he should have paid WHAT HE COULD AFFORD, rather than paying nothing.
The attorneys at Joseph & Joseph, Co. LPA are experienced in this matter, and look forward to being your lawyers.
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