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Man accused of disappearing to evade child support enforcement

When children are involved in a divorce, paternity or other custody matter, the amount and payment of child support to the custodial parent must almost always be addressed by the Court. However, though an agreement may be made, sometimes payment obligations are not met. Unemployment, injury or sickness can play a major factor in one's finances, and may be valid reasons affecting one's ability to make child support payments and comply with the Court ordered obligations. On the other hand, there are some cases when the noncustodial parent simply is negligent or avoids making payments. If needed, enforcement of a Massachusetts court-ordered child support obligation may involve filing an enforcement action such as a Complaint for Contempt and perhaps attempts to garnish the non-paying parent's wages.

Recently, a man went missing in the southeastern U.S. after reportedly owing about $500,000 in child support. The 52-year-old father was last seen late March 2018 on his blue paddleboard. One of the last recorded sightings was on surveillance video of the man heading to the Atlantic Ocean early in the morning.

Family and friends have not heard from the man since the last sighting who was facing an upcoming court enforcement action on his child support arrears. Though he is an experienced paddle boarder, his family is concerned for his safety and well-being. However, others have been more cynical and speculate the father attempted to flee to evade his pending court action for nonpayment of child support. Police state there has been no sign of the man or his equipment a month after his disappearance.

It is unfortunate for the family of the missing man to be left with unanswered questions about the whereabouts of their loved one. Regardless of any stress or pressures that the man may have had from the mounting debt of child support payments, help can be found through an experienced attorney who might be able to seek a modification of the child support obligation to be more manageable and consistent with the current financial circumstances of their client. If needed, a Massachusetts lawyer can also help initiate an enforcement action for unpaid child support payments for those facing similar issues in this state.

Source:, "A Man Who Owed $500k in Child Support Disappeared on His Paddleboard in Florida", April 17, 2018

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