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Man who dodged child support jailed for faking bankruptcy

It's no secret that divorce is emotionally painful for the spouses. However, when children are involved, parents have to keep in mind that their kids' well-being has to come first, and child support is a common factor in protecting the best interests of children.

The amount a noncustodial parent owes in child support is determined by a number of factors. Many states, including Missouri, have their own formula for calculating the amount of child support owed by the paying parent. However, not everyone keeps up with his or her payment obligations. 

A businessman from Sacramento, California, managed to avoid paying child support by declaring bankruptcy during his divorce proceedings. Despite being a successful businessman, he managed to conceal his assets in misnamed accounts and shell companies. By illegally hiding his wealth, the father of two was able to reduce his apparent financial obligation to his children.

However, after suspecting his ex-wife of trying to access information regarding his health insurance, he called the FBI. Unfortunately for him, the investigators were very thorough and uncovered the illegitimacy of his bankruptcy.

As a result of his conviction on charges of money laundering and fraud, he was sentenced to nearly 18 years in prison. On top of this, he has been fined $500,000 and was ordered to give up $2.8 million in assets.

Although this case of avoiding child support took place in another state, residents of St. Louis should take note. Failure to pay child support is a very serious matter. That money is instrumental in shaping the world and future of children, and custodial parents should be aware of their options for receiving the support they need.

Likewise, if a paying parent's financial situation takes a turn for the worse, then the appropriate course of action is to seek a court-approved modification, not to simply stop making payments.

Source: Time, "Man Who Avoided Child Support By Faking Bankruptcy Gets 17 Years," Belinda Luscombe, March 6, 2014

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