Man found guilty after fleeing country to avoid child support

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Thursday, February 20, 2014.

For a parent, divorce is more than just moving away from a former spouse and dividing marital property. Parents have to consider family law matters such as child support and child custody. Violations of custody and support orders can not only jeopardize the well-being of children, but also result in the loss of a parent’s rights and freedom.

With these issues in mind, Missouri residents may be interested in the case of a father who formerly lived in Kansas City. The man apparently honored none of his child support obligations and left the country in 1996, going as far as Thailand, where he was able to build a career in the hotel industry.

His child support debt had piled up to nearly $165,000 by the time he returned to the U.S. and was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport. After pleading guilty to fleeing a support order, he now faces a possible prison sentence of two years, plus requirements to pay his debts in child support and a fine of $250,000.

Due to his avoidance of child support payments, he now faces much more in total costs than he would have if the $1,500 per month obligation had been met. It is important to remember that for a non-custodial parent, paying child support is not an option, even if you relocate to another state or country.

If you think that your monthly child support payments are too cumbersome for you, an appeal to the family court may be an option. Depending on the facts of the case, asking for reconsideration of your support payments could result in a lesser amount that is more in line with what you can afford. However, a parent must take the necessary legal steps to receive a child support modification.

Source: The Kansas City Star, “Unpaid child support lands former Kansas City man in federal court,” Mark Morris, Feb. 12, 2014

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