When a Maryland couple with children gets a divorce, child support payments often end up being a significant aspect of the divorce settlement. The amount that the non-custodial spouse must pay each month is determined by factors such as income and the number of children involved. Over time, a spouse might be able to change the amount owed each month if their income suddenly decreases. However, doing this in a fraudulent manner can get a person into a considerable amount of legal trouble. Currently, the U.S. Office of Inspector General has listed just such a person as the nation’s “most wanted deadbeat.” The 60-year-old Michigan man owes about $559,000 in child support.
The man and his wife divorced in 1989, and a judge had originally ordered him to pay $100 every month for child support. However, he explained to the judge that he was unemployed and disabled, which allowed him to end up with payments of only $14 per month. According to the OIG, the man then sold an Internet business in 1996 for over $2 million. He has not paid any child support since then.
According to a U.S. Attorney’s Office in Michigan, the man has been considered a fugitive from justice since 1997. Authorities adjusted the man’s monthly child support requirements after learning about the sale of his business, eventually leading to the large sum of missed payments. His current whereabouts are not known.
The man’s wife in this case is right to continue using legal channels in order to get the money she is owed. The case could also be seen as a warning to any non-custodial parents in Maryland who are thinking about dodging their child support payments. It would be much wiser to find out if payments could legally be reduced, as opposed to breaking the law and becoming a fugitive.
Source: M Live, “Michigan father is ‘Most Wanted Deadbeat,’ owes more than $559,000 in child support” Rex Hall Jr., Mar. 20, 2014