Fugitives are almost always better off surrendering and facing the consequences of their actions rather than face tougher penalties later. For those with child support obligations, lessons can be taken from a recent story that might deter thoughts of skipping payments in Orange County.
After years of running from U.S. authorities and hiding in Asia to avoid his child support obligations, the man considered the "most wanted deadbeat dad" in the country was finally sentenced. The 50-year-old man will be serving out a two-year sentence after he pled guilty last February to failing to pay over $1.2 million in child support payments.
He used to run a successful car auction business back in the 1990s, making over half a million dollars each year. He was ordered to pay child support for three children after two failed marriages. He paid at first, then stopped paying after a couple of years; other debts grew with his child support debts. Eventually, the court issued an arrest warrant.
He had been living in Thailand and was arrested in the Philippines after entering that country without proper identification. He was extradited to the U.S. and was held without bail while the legal proceedings were pending.
According to sources, the man had been in contact recently with the mothers of his children and even spoken to his children, who he hadn't seen for many years. The mothers told the court that they wanted him to start working immediately so he can begin paying the owed child support plus interest. But the judge in the case preferred to punish him first with jail time to send a message to all other parents who don't pay.
With the country's huge problem in child support collection, aggressive efforts by local authorities are in effect. Those who miss payments or run from their obligations will be found and punished.
Those who can't afford their payments may find themselves in jail, lose their professional and driver's licenses and still be obliged to pay the payments they missed with interest on top. Those who are struggling to meet their child support obligations should consider their legal options, including a child support modification.
Source: WCAX, "Country's most wanted deadbeat parent sentenced," May 22, 2013