In some cases, custodial parents end up owed large sums of money by non-custodial parents who fail to pay their court-ordered child support payments. For this reason, Florida parents who do not pay child support can face wage garnishment or even jail time. However, not everything in the system is foolproof, and, in one case, a father is still paying child support for a child who died years ago.
The child passed away at only 3 years old from acute meningitis. Even after the child’s death, the man was still paying child support. At first he continued to pay because he was under the assumption that the payments were for his older son and that arrearages were included. Eventually, the man came to the conclusion that those payments should have ended, and he started to ask questions about the payments he was making.
He was informed that the payments were to cover back child support for his younger son. He visited the court and showed the officials a death certificate as evidence that his son has been dead since 1988. In spite of the death certificate, court officials still maintained that he owed $43,000. A representative of the court stated that it was never notified about the son’s death and was unaware of the fact until the father started asking questions about child support.
While most non-custodial parents in Florida never have to deal with a situation like this man is facing, many find it difficult to pay the amount of child support that is ordered by the court. Fortunately, it is possible to obtain child support modifications in cases in which a parent’s situation has changed dramatically. Parents who need to change the amount they pay in support due to job losses or other unexpected events may benefit from the assistance of family law attorneys.
Source: theindychannel.com, “Father says he’s still paying child support for 3-year-old son who died 25 years ago”, Kimberly Craig, Mar. 1, 2015