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Delinquent child support leads to arrests near Philadelphia

Eighteen people were recently arrested in a sweep conducted by Montgomery County Sheriff's deputies who sought as many as 37 individuals who were delinquent in making support payments.

The overnight roundup began at 1 a.m. and ended at dawn. A team from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Domestic Relations Office arrested 15 men and 3 women, who collectively owe $180,000 in child support.

The county has 15,000 cases of outstanding child support; warrants have been issued for 275 individuals who failed to appear in court for hearings. Eight of the most wanted offenders remain at large; according to authorities, these eight people owe more than $200,000 in unpaid support. Among these people, the amounts owed range from $6,600 to almost $68,000. The enforcement team is asking the public to provide information about the whereabouts of these other defendants.

Courts consider outright disregard of child support agreement as acts of contempt that not only show disrespect for a court order but also limit a custodial parent's ability to make a living and provide for his or her children. .

Withholding child support hurts children physically and emotionally. Divorced parents, custodial or not, should not use hostility and anger they feel toward their ex-spouses as an excuse not to pay. Child support may help an ex-spouse make ends meet, but it ultimately is for the benefit of the child.

Local agencies in Philadelphia can help both custodial and noncustodial parents collect or pay child support. However, because the amount of court ordered support depends on several factors, including the income of the divorced parents and the needs of the child, it may be best to settle support modification directly through the court system. A divorced parent should consider consulting a family law attorney if changes to the child support agreement need to be made.

Source: Philly.com, "18 Child-support deadbeats nabbed in Montco raid," Dana DiFilippo, Nov. 14, 2013

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