A Florida businessman was arrested and held in a New York jail for failing to pay over $450,000 in child and spousal support. He has also been charged in a separate, federal case in Westchester County for nearly $160,000 in unpaid child support.
According to federal prosecutors, the 51 year-old businessman purchased and developed property in Florida with his current wife instead of fulfilling his child support obligations. As of May 23, he was being detained in Orange County Jail with bail set at $25,000 according to an AP report.
State law mandates that child support be included in any divorce decree or settlement. Payments by the non-custodial parent are determined using The Child Support Standards Act, a formula within New York State law created for that specific purpose. However, a judge has discretion in calculating monthly payments in cases where the non-custodial parent earns more than $136,000 annually. Also, modifications can be made to the payments received by a custodial parent if necessitated by illness or unemployment. A family law attorney could help prepare the documents needed to increase those payments.
Parents facing child support payments who foresee problems may want to consult an attorney as well. If non-custodial parents already owe child support from a prior relationship, the difference between their incomes and those payments could be used as the base figure when applying the Support Standards Act to their new payments. Additionally, non-custodial parents can also seek changes to their monthly payments due to medical and financial hardship. Failing to pay child support can lead to revocation of your driver's license or passport, wage garnishments, jail time, and, in extreme cases, seizure of property or assets.
Source: Bradenton Herald, "Florida man charged with not paying $452K in support ", May 23, 2014