Child support is designed to make sure that parents help financially with their children even when they don’t live with them. Some parents find the obligation burdensome at times, but the system is not meant to be punitive or to drive anyone into poverty.
Recently, in a lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission a Chicago man noted that he was no longer meet his child support obligations, among other issues, as an effect of what he believes was an unfair resolution of an administrative order by the SEC. Last year, the SEC accused the man of engaging in fraudulent securities sales with clients he found on the social media site LinkedIn. The man was later fined $150,000 and barred from becoming a broker or investment counselor.
Now, the man claims his reputation has been ruined and he has been unable to find work, open a bank account or pay his child support obligations. Representing himself, he has filed a defamation lawsuit against the SEC, asking for $1 billion. He believes the order didn’t really address the allegations against him and was unfairly vague.
Needless to say, the circumstances of this case may be unique. However, it is not at all uncommon for parents to find that they can no long meet child support obligations due to an unexpected life change. In Illinois, child support formulas are based upon ability to pay, and when a parent loses a job or faces other unexpected changes, it is all too easy to fall behind in payments. Missed payments quickly add up and the state can impose driver’s license suspension or other serious penalties on those who fall behind. What’s more, the debt of missed payments cannot be discharged in bankruptcy and generally can’t be reduced in other ways.
Parents who face substantial life changes such as this man may want to act quickly before their debts pile up and they are unable to make court ordered payments. For some, reaching an agreement on modification with the court can help them continue to make payments to help any children involved. Documenting any status changes by keeping paperwork or other material to show how their ability to pay has changed can be helpful when seeking a modification with the court.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Chicago man accused of fraud seeks $1B in defamation suit,” Becky Yerak, Feb. 26, 2013