Few new parents fully recognize the responsibilities the birth of their new child entails. However, most new parents soon get a crash course in functioning with little sleep as they care for their demanding new addition. They soon learn that parents are solely responsible for their child's physical and emotional needs. To meet these, there is a need for financial support, and states such as Mississippi and others across the country take a parent's responsibility to support his or her child very seriously. For example, a parent who fails to pay court-ordered child support payments can face serious consequences, sometimes including a criminal conviction and even jail time, as one out-of-state man has recently learned.
Reports indicate that the man in question is 52 years old. Local authorities issued a warrant for his arrest. An investigation to determine his location was initiated.
Police claim he was soon located as a result of their investigation. He is suspected of owing almost $70,000 in missing support payments. A representative for the sheriff's office that was involved in his arrest has said that the man was taken into custody without incident and that he is expected to remain jailed for six months.
There are many possible consequences for failing to pay child support. While imprisonment is generally only used in rare circumstances, authorities in Mississippi have the option of garnishing a person's wages, suspending a driver's license and/or placing a lien on their property, among other options. However, most important to consider are the potential implications to a child. In many circumstances -- such as in the event of an unexpected period of unemployment or during the course of a major illness or injury -- it is understandable that a person may struggle to make payments. However, it is essential to address these circumstances with the court by means of a formal modification petition in order to seek to avoid consequences similar to those mentioned above.
Source: The Poughkeepsie Journal, "Man arrested for $68,422 in unpaid child support", Emily Stewart, Oct. 24, 2014