When a couple agrees to a child support amount, the amount due typically gets paid on time and all is well between the parties. However, complications can arise and lead to court intervention, even if those complications are unintentional. Recently, a father gained media attention for being handed a jail sentence in a case where it appears that he actually overpaid child support. Any Pennsylvania parents who are unsure what they owe or fear there may be a discrepancy in how payments are handled may want to follow the story.
The dad turned himself in to authorities, but he is asking a judge to reconsider a sentence of 180 days in jail. The 43-year-old man was having the child support amount taken out of his paycheck. When there was an increase in payments, he says he was not made aware. Reportedly, this caused his employer to continue remitting the usual payment, technically causing the dad to fall behind.
The father contends that once he found out he owed back due child support, he overpaid the amount he owed. He was also accused of violating visitation terms by picking up his child from school. It is now up to a judge whether the man will serve jail time for violating the child custody and support agreement.
The case goes against the stereotypical scenario of a parent suffering consequences for not paying and that is why it has gained media attention. Those who support the decision to punish the parent say he should know what he owes and be aware of the situation. However, for those who have automatic payments deducted, it may not be information that is instantly available to them. Any Pennsylvania parent who fears they may have a child support payment discrepancy may benefit from knowing what they pay and what they owe on a monthly basis. It may also be beneficial for all parties to maintain some level of communication to resolve issues before they become legal matters.
Source: abclocal.go.com, Houston man in unusual child support case turns himself in, No author, Jan. 21, 2014