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Do not let a child support dispute land you in jail

Support paying parents in Pennsylvania and elsewhere sometimes fail to meet their financial obligations. It happens regardless of economic ability to pay. When child support goes unpaid, it can become a criminal matter. Before it gets that far, there are steps that can be taken to address the child support issue and avoid jail time.

Reality television star and husband to actress Tori Spelling, Dean McDermott, has been dealing with his own child support problems that nearly landed him in jail. According to reports, Mr. McDermott was behind on support payments he owes to his former wife. In early-March, he was held in contempt for failure to meet his support obligation. However, instead of being given a jail sentence, he was able to strike a deal with his ex.

Mr. McDermott paid her $2,500 in cash that same day. This is just the beginning of an installment plan, though the total sum agreed upon was not reported. The next installment is said to be due April 1. If Dean fails to stick to this plan, his ex says she will pursue enforcement options that could result in him going to jail.

Dean McDermott surely has his own personal reasons for falling behind on his child support obligation. The same can be said for any parent placed in a similar situation. Those in Pennsylvania who are failing to make their support payments, for whatever the reason, can seek help in addressing the matter either in court or through private negotiations. If necessary, new support plans can be created that will work for both parties and still supply the funds needed to care for the affected children.

Source:, "Dean McDermott avoids jail time over child support", Oli Coleman, March 15, 2017

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