Heymann & Fletcher

Mom found guilty of unpaid child support

Normally, when reports of failure to pay child support hit the New Jersey news, the accused is typically a man. In the past, men were less likely to receive child support from their ex-wives or to have primary custody of their children. Changing societal norms mean that this is no longer the case -- men are fully capable of being excellent parents and their ex-wives may have a higher level of income than they do. This may have been the exact situation in an out-of-state case that claims a mother failed to provide child support for her children for several years.

The mother at the center of this case has four children. In 2007, she was given an order to pay child support for their care. Prosecutors alleged that she did not make these payments, and that she made no effort to support her children financially at all. Prosecutors also say that while taking parents to court over unpaid child support is not ideal, they will pursue these kinds of cases when there is no other option available.

Reportedly, the mother did not seem to be in financial duress. She was a registered nurse who had a master's degree and owned a catering company. The jury found her guilty of nonsupport of defendants, which is a felony. She will be sentenced in the next couple of months for her failure to make child support payments for almost 12 years.

It is unclear whether the woman in this case had any other circumstances that made it difficult to make her child support payments. Some parents may have difficulty doing so after experiencing a change in their income level or accruing debt. Any parents here in New Jersey who are having difficulty making child support payments may wish to request a modification to their support agreement. Those who are owed unpaid child support may also need the assistance of the court that created the support agreement. Either situation may call for professional legal advice.

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