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Court orders father to pay $2 million in child support

California parents who are currently dealing with child support issues regarding their children may be interested in a recent case in another state. The situation involves a man who apparently abandoned his wife and children some 25 years ago. The law reportedly caught up with him, and the court has since ordered him to pay $2 million in child support payments, including interest.  

The man was assumed to have died more than two decades ago. The relative of a deceased man in another state, however, was doing some family heritage research when a peculiar discovery was made. The relative says there was evidence to suggest that the deceased relative's identity had been stolen. Information on his birth certificate and driver's license had been requested by someone after he had died. 

Dividing marital assets does not have to be difficult

Sometimes, the things we own mean much more to us than their actual value. You might have sentimental attachment to something handed down to you from your grandmother, or there may be an object in your home that you received from your child at a particularly special time. Some people have keepsakes from friends and loved ones who have passed away.

Other objects represent something entirely different, such as the control you have over your life or the resentment that has grown between you and your spouse. As you approach your divorce with the task of dividing your belongings with your former partner, those objects may take on a new symbolism that may hinder your ability to negotiate for a fair settlement.

Be proactive regarding child support issues in divorce

Making a decision to divorce is typically an emotional experience on many levels. Many California spouses start proceedings with a decade or more of married life under their belts. Especially when spouses have children together, divorcing after a lengthy marriage brings many changes and challenges to those involved. Good parents are always concerned with their children's well-being; in divorce, worries often surface concerning child support issues.  

It's understandable that finances would be a high priority for a spouse entering a new lifestyle as a single parent. Many California households include two parents who both earn incomes. When one of those incomes is suddenly removed from the equation, the parent with whom children are residing after divorce may worry whether he or she will be able to meet expenses to provide for the children's needs.  

Judge orders payment of $16,000-plus in back child support

California parents and all others throughout the nation who are bound to existing court orders must make payments to financially provide for their children when required to do so. While it is true that extenuating circumstances sometimes make child support payments infeasible, it is not true that a parent may simply stop making payments when he or she decides it's necessary. Payment delinquency is subject to legal punishment as a father in another state recently learned the hard way.  

The 38-year old man was recently sentenced to five years in jail, although the court suspended it all. The man, a father who failed to make child support payments for six years, will serve three years of supervised probation and two additional years, unsupervised. He pleaded guilty to the charge against him.  

Divorce mediation: How to determine if it's the best option

When filing for divorce in California or any other state, a spouse must choose a particular course of action as a means toward the end. Some situations involve litigation, especially if a communication breakdown has occurred between spouses or an extenuating circumstance, such as suspected hidden assets, has arisen. For spouses who get along well enough to have civil discussions and negotiate fair settlements, divorce mediation may be possible. 

The mediation process is intended to help the parties execute fair settlement agreements without going to court. Each spouse retains his or her own legal representation for mediation meetings. A neutral third party acts a facilitator to keep discussions focused and progressing in a satisfactory and timely manner.  For divorcing spouses who are parents, mediation can often help lessen the blow of divorce on children because the kids witness their parents' willingness to get together and talk things out to come up with a fair plan that keeps their own best interests in mind.

Mother's child support case crosses international borders

Current data suggests that nearly one million California families are facing similar legal problems with regards to obtaining rightful support for their children. That is, there is approximately $17 billion worth of unpaid child support in this state alone. Many of these families, such as a mother of a 6-year-old boy, are trying to resolve problems that involve parents in other countries. This woman's international situation began when her college romance died shortly after she told her lover she was expecting his child.  

The woman was then a 27-year old college student at the University of California, Davis campus. During her time in school, she traveled to France. There, she met a much older man; in fact, one 20 years her senior. They parted as friends although an apparent romantic attraction had ignited between them. They kept in touch from afar.  

Overcoming your negative emotions during divorce

Going through a divorce is often a time of hurt and anger. Everything you valued and depended on is changing, and you are understandably having a difficult time. If your emotions are high and your nerves on edge at this point in the process, you may imagine yourself gearing up for a raging battle in a California courtroom.

That might suit you fine. In fact, it is easy to imagine the sense of satisfaction you might feel if you can inflict the same pain on your spouse that you are currently feeling. However, psychologists warn divorcing couples that the release of negative emotions may feel good in the moment, but it may also continue generating negative consequences long past the signing of the divorce decree.

Garner and Affleck use divorce mediation to achieve settlement

For California residents currently considering ending their marriages, the good news is that not every marital split involves long, drawn-out courtroom battles. In fact, divorce mediation helps many spouses achieve fair and agreeable settlements in an amicable fashion. The case of Hollywood stars Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck may be a good example of this. 

This particular former couple has three children together. When they decided they no longer wished to continue their marriage, they took things quite slow, stating they wanted to make careful, well-formed decisions that kept their children's best interests in mind. It wound up being two full years before they formally filed for divorce, with Affleck moving out of their marital home and living in a guest house on the property.  

Protect your rights when child support problems arise

Like most good parents in California or elsewhere, you are willing to make sacrifices for your children's sakes. Most parents can relate to setting aside personal goals or plans, or changing jobs, locations or other lifestyle situations when they determine it's in their children's best interests to do so. When divorce occurs, most parents paying child support do their best to make payments on time and otherwise adhere to existing court orders regarding their parenting plans.  

Complications can arise, however, if one parent refuses to cooperate or obey the court's decision. Problems may also occur if, for instance, a parent paying child support is suddenly unable to make payments because of a job loss or some other major financial crisis. While it's often possible to petition the court for a modification when necessary, it is never acceptable to stop making payments before modification is granted.  

Troubling mystery surrounds child support situation

Many California parents understand how stressful impending legal actions regarding child custody, visitation or support can be. In another state, one man has been dealing with a child support problem, which authorities say may have something to do with his recent disappearance. His family members say they're worried he committed suicide. Others think he may have left the country to avoid penalties for failure to pay child support. 

The man reportedly owes more than $500,000 in support payments. His last recorded payment occurred in 2014. His cousin apparently called in a missing person report when he did not hear from the man in three days. The cousin said it was their habit to speak to each other daily by telephone.  


Law Office of Edward S. Matisoff
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