Multi-state child support disputes show weaknesses in system

Child support and custody issues can be some of the most complicated family legal issues in Morris County, and throughout the U.S. This is not only because sorting out these issues can often be very complex and emotional for those involved, but also because in many cases, enforcing the decisions that are made can be somewhat difficult.

A child support dispute between a man living in Alaska and his former wife, who lives in Illinois, has highlighted some of the trouble courts have with ensuring support agreements are kept. Although it was not reported when, the father reportedly stopped making the $700 per month child support payments that were a stipulation of his divorce settlement. He purportedly claims that his ex-wife soured his two daughters against him, which resulted in his rarely seeing or speaking to them, so he stopped paying.

According to reports, the man’s ex-wife claims that he owes her over $70,000. A family law judge in Illinois apparently agreed that the man had indeed defaulted on his child support payments and ordered a warrant for his arrest. Because failure to pay child support is, legally speaking, a minor type of offense, a parent being picked up in another state on such a warrant, much less extradited to the state where they are wanted, is reportedly quite unlikely. While the father has said he will pay if he is forced to, he has for the time being been able to avoid paying his child support, as well as the legal consequences of non-payment.

Rather than face a situation such as this, it may be of benefit for anyone involved in a child support dispute to consult with an experienced attorney. A lawyer can explain your options and help you determine the best course of action for your circumstances.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Child support challenges courts in Illinois,” Lisa Black, Oct. 25, 2013