Most Pennsylvania parents know just how important child support payments are in providing a somewhat comfortable lifestyle for their children. Should the parent who supplies those child support payments be unable to do so for any reason, there is the danger that some of the most basic needs of those children may not be met. For those parents, the sum of the financial support they owe accrues until the time comes when they are able to pay what they owe. Such is the case for one father who was released from prison and finding that he owed nearly $40,000 to the mother of his son.
The man was convicted in the 1995 case of a drive-by shooting that killed a four-year-old girl and injured four other people. He was 19 years old at the time, with his son just eight months. Since his paroled release four years ago, he has pursued and won exoneration for the crime that put him behind bars due to the findings on a review of police procedure at the time. While in prison he had no way to earn a living that would enable him to financially support his son and received the shock of his accumulated total upon his release.
The job the man currently has does not pay much; still, nearly half the check goes to pay on the massive balance. In the past four years he has barely been able to put $7,000 toward the total and is now asking the judge to wipe his debt clean, as his incarceration was beyond his control. He plans to sue the state for the wrongful conviction, but even if he wins his argument, any settlement he may receive could take years to resolve. He is not aware of a similar case that would have set a precedent for his situation.
It is up to the court to review each child support case and give recommendations based on the received information. It is often difficult for a parent to present a persuasive claim without the expertise of an experienced attorney. An attorney who has thorough knowledge of the family laws specific to Pennsylvania can advise a client through each step required by the court.
Source: New York Daily News, "Framed Brooklyn man wants judge to vacate $40G child support bill he couldn't pay while locked up", Christina Carrega, Feb. 12, 2018