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"Most Wanted" deadbeat parent arrested; owes over $1.2 million

Single parents in Florida face unique challenges when raising a child alone. Commonly, financial issues can consume a majority of their time. Most troubling for some single parents are missed or unpaid child support payments. When an ex-spouse, or the other parent, has been ordered by a court to make child support payments, but fails to pay, finances can be difficult if not impossible to manage.

Recently, a man who topped the United States' "most wanted" deadbeat parents was arrested in the Los Angeles International Airport. Federal prosecutors arrested the man for owing more than $1.2 million in missed child support payments.

Prosecutors allege that over the past decade, the man has intentionally underreported his income and evaded payments by moving around to Florida, New York and Thailand. The man has three children with two different women. The Office of the Inspector General has a list that contains the most wanted "deadbeat" parents. The list is periodically updated with the individuals' possible locations as well as the amount they owe.

While the majority of parents are not owed a million dollars, missed payments, no matter their size can cause significant financial strain and hardship. For parents who have been ordered to pay child support and are failing to do so, there are a number of legal steps a parent owed can take in order to collect. The Child Support Enforcement Act allows a district attorney to aid in collecting child support from a parent who has failed to follow a court order.

If a district attorney's attempt to negotiate a payment arrangement fails, they may choose to impose other penalties upon the parent until payments are made. Those may include but are not limited to seizing property, suspending occupational, business and driving licenses, withholding tax refunds or sometimes as a last resort, jail time.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Child Support Offender, Robert Sand, Arrested In Los Angeles," Dec. 19, 2012

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