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Father jailed after child support misunderstanding

Divorced parents in Connecticut may be interested in the case of a Texas father who began a six-month jail sentence due to a reported clerical error. This strange child support issues began when the father realized that his automatic withdrawal payments for child support had been interrupted. He quickly paid off the balance and included an additional $1,000.

According to the man's attorney, she visited the opposing counsel to inform the other party of the mistake and the man's actions to fix it. Rather than settle, however, the other party chose to pursue the cost of attorney's fees, which were estimated to be $3,500. The case was taken to court. A law that came into effect June 14, 2013 states that individuals who are late in paying child support payments but appear in court after paying the amount necessary may be subject to incarceration for six months, and the man received the full sentence.

Unable to appeal the decision, the man began his sentence on Jan. 21. After the sentence was handed down, the man questioned the ruling, asking how the decision could be in his son's best interests.

As in this case, disputes regarding child support may result in serious consequences. In an effort to avoid such disputes, Connecticut parents may be able to work with a family law attorney. Such an attorney may be able to help a client understand obligations regarding child support after a divorce has been finalized. If a client is unable to maintain a payment schedule under the original terms of a divorce, an attorney may also be able to help negotiate modifications to the agreement.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Clerical Error In Child Support Payments Leads To Six-Month Jail Sentence For Clifford Hall ", January 21, 2014

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