Texas parents involved in child support battles may want to ensure they are aware of their legal options, especially when the other parent fails to uphold their financial obligations. Sometimes parents go to extraordinary lengths to avoid their responsibilities and this can result in a legal battle. Understanding one’s legal options can make it a little easier for parents struggling to raise children without the benefit of child support.

One 49-year-old man in another state owes $80,000 in overdue child support. He has apparently gone to great lengths to avoid paying, even changing his name, possibly to avoid detection. His cases go all the way back to November 1984. So far, he is responsible for child support for 14 children. The most recent child support order against him is from February of last year.

He is also named in over a dozen paternity suits by nine different women in the state of Nebraska. He was taken into custody after 11 bench warrants were issued against him. However, less than 24 hours later he was released; but, before he was actually let out of the jail, he was found in contempt of all of his cases and sentenced to spend over four years in jail. There is still a chance he won’t serve any jail time, though, since the judge suspended his jail sentence. He will have the opportunity to pay what he owes, but will have to begin paying $500 per month and $800 in back support by the date of December 1.

Texas parents may have extreme difficulty making ends meet while trying to live without court-ordered child support. Fortunately for these parents, there are legal options available to them to obtain the financial support they and their children need. Child support is court-ordered and parents who choose not to pay could be heavily fined or sentenced to jail. On the other hand, those parents who are truly suffering financially may be able to apply for a modification of child support if they can show genuine financial need such as job loss.

Source: JournalStar.com, “Man owes $80K in back child support; has 15 paternity cases,” Jonathan Edwards, Oct. 25, 2012