When Back Child Support Becomes Criminal
When Back Child Support Becomes CriminalAs a family law and criminal defense attorney, it’s not uncommon to have cases that straddle the line between the family court system and criminal issues. One such potential area is child support arrears. Arrears mean the amount the payer is behind in paying the payee the monthly child support amount the court has previously ordered.As a review, child support is calculated by a formula that considers income and number of overnights. Child support may change over the course of a minor child’s life, but that has to be determined on a case by case basis. Once the date that support is owed has come and gone, that is automatically a debt to the payer that can almost never be lowered unless the payee agrees to accept a lower amount. Furthermore, in Michigan, there is a felony statute that authorizes the government to bring a felony charge for nonpayment of child support on the payer. It is a five-year felony, and certainly not something to be taken lightly. Technically, the statute allows the government to authorize this felony charge anytime the payer has missed payments, but practically speaking, this most often does not occur until many months have gone by with missed payments, and arrears are nearing five figures, which sadly, happens more often than one would think! Don’t let a few missed payments make a mark on your criminal record! If you have concerns over child support one way or another, or any other questions within the realms of family or criminal law, call the Law Offices of Joumana Kayrouz to schedule your free consultation today!