A man living in Florida was ordered to pay $2 million in back child support after authorities found him living under a different name. The man, Richard J. Hoagland, originally from Indiana, had been living in Florida for nearly two decades before being arrested by police.
In 1991, Hoagland came to Florida and stole the identity of a deceased man. He proceeded to use this identity to build a new life, get married, and have more children. After being discovered to not have paid any child support in two decades, Hoagland was ordered to pay $1.86 million plus 18% annual interest.
Obviously, this is a very extreme example of someone avoiding child support. However, missing child support payments is very common, and failing to make the required payments can result in you having to pay a higher amount in back child support payments.
How Child Support Works
Child support payments in Florida are determined following a divorce. Florida encourages judges to make decisions regarding alimony, custody, and child support based on fairness. When considering how much child support is to be paid, the judge is mainly going to consider how much income the non-custodial parent earns.
Penalties for Missing Payments
If the parent who owes child support purposefully neglects to make the payments, then the parent with custody can file a Motion for Contempt. Once this is completed, a judge will determine if the parent intentionally neglected to make child support payments. If the parent is found guilty of this, then he or she could be subject to penalties such as fines, incarceration, seizure of paychecks, or seizure of lottery winnings. If you are a parent who is not receiving the child support payments that you are entitled to, you should contact a family law attorney immediately to help you understand how you can get the money you deserve.