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Rapper waits for jail threat to pay back-owed child support

Getting behind on child support payments can happen for any number of reasons. A non-custodial parent who becomes ill or injured without inadequate health insurance can face enormous financial pressure. The loss of a job in an economy where new work is difficult to find can send a New York parent's budget reeling.

Many people with past-due child support have solid reasons for not meeting obligations. Some noncustodial parents violate support orders until state collection agencies and courts force their hand.

Recently, an Albany mother sued rapper Flavor Flav, the father of her three children, for $111,000 in unpaid child support. A family court found that the rapper, whose offstage name is William Jonathan Drayton Jr., willfully violated the couple's support agreement.

The mother and children have apparently been waiting for the rapper to make good on support for quite a while. The one-time Public Enemy front man apparently missed weekly support payments of about $838 for two-and-a-half years.

Family court was ready to send the rapper to jail for six months for failing to meet his parental obligations. Published reports say Drayton Jr. appeared before a judge with a $25,000 check in hand to fend off the sentence. The rapper also promised to add $1,200 each month to regular support payments to make up for the deficit.

The singer did not have to wait until his freedom was threatened to approach the court about back-owed child support. Non-custodial parents who experience a significant income loss or extreme change in financial circumstances can request a child support modification.

Meeting child support obligations is easier and less costly than facing the consequences for skipping payments. Both parents are obligated by law to support their children. However, child support laws are not inflexible. When non-custodial parents have a hard time trying to support their children, a modification of support may be able to be pursued.

Source: reuters.com, "Flavor Flav Beats Jail Rap by Paying $25K in Child Support," Andrew Chow, June 20, 2012

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