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Friday, January 9, 2009

Former Police Officer Arrested for Not Paying Child Support

On January 8, 2009 at 12:30 p.m. the defendant walked into the Road Town Police Station to conduct business in the Administration Office, when he was spotted by the Senior Court Officer.

The defendant had not paid for a period of over six (6) months.

He had informed local court marshals that he would have paid the money in December, 2008, but he did not pay as promised.

If the defendant does not pay the sum of $2,717.50 by 3p.m. on 8th January, 2009, he will be transported to Her Majesty’s Prison where he will be detained for six (6) months until the monies are paid.

If the monies are not paid after six (6) months period, he will spend a further six (6) months in prison.

Supreme Court overturns child custody ruling

The high court’s 3-2 ruling overturned the decision of a circuit judge who had given Michael W. Schroeder primary custody of his 5-year-old son, Thomas.The Supreme Court majority said Circuit Judge Timothy Bjorkman erred when he found it would be in the child’s best interests to live with his father. Schroeder failed to provide for his son’s basic needs when he refused to pay the full amount of court-ordered support for more than two years, the justices said.The two dissenting justices said they believe the circuit judge’s decision should be upheld because the decision focused on which parent was most responsible for alienating the boy from the other parent.Schroeder and the boy’s mother, Joleen Pietrzak, already had broken up after a brief relationship when the child was born in 2001, according to court records. The two fought for several years over custody, visitation and child support payments.Pietrzak was awarded custody of the child, and Schroeder initially was ordered to pay child support of $150 a month until a permanent determination was made. He was eventually ordered to pay $363 a month in child support, but he continued to pay only $150, according to court records.The Supreme Court in an earlier ruling upheld the $363-a-month order.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

TI video about child support

T.I. cuts $8,000 check for overdue lawyer fees

ATLANTA -- Rapper T.I. went to court and promptly paid an $8,000 overdue lawyer bill for the mother of two of his sons, telling a judge the debt was an oversight.

Lawyers for LaShon Dixon asked a Fulton County judge to intervene after the 28-year-old rapper, whose real name is Clifford Harris, failed to pay in November. He had agreed to the payment as part of an ongoing child support case.

T.I. had a check for the money owed, effectively settling the matter. During the Tuesday hearing, which lasted more than four hours, he told the judge the order to pay got lost when he changed assistants.

"It was just a clerical error, totally innocent," he said. "I will accept full responsibility for that."

The two-time Grammy winner was ordered in September to pay more than $3,000 a month to Dixon _ to whom he had been paying about $2,000 per month _ as well as the boys' private school tuition, uninsured medical bills and expenses related to their extracurricular activities.

T.I. and Dixon are still negotiating child support and custody of the boys, ages 7 and 8. He also has two sons with his fiancee, Tameka "Tiny" Cottle, of the defunct R&B group Xscape. more

A Toronto-area man must continue paying child support of twins that are not his

A Toronto-area man must continue paying child support to his former wife despite DNA tests proving he is not the biological father of her 16-year-old twins, an Ontario Superior Court judge has ruled.

Pasqualino Cornelio will also not recoup any of the child-support money he paid out since the couple separated a decade ago, Justice Katherine van Rensburg wrote in her decision.

In making her recent ruling, the judge referred to a 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision that said if someone acts as a parent and provides support for a child during a marriage, they are obliged to continue that financial support after separation or divorce -- even if the child is not biologically theirs.

"While the failure of Ms. Cornelio to disclose to her husband the fact that she had an extramarital affair and that the twins might not be his biological children may well have been a moral wrong against Mr. Cornelio, it is a wrong that does not afford him a legal remedy to recover child support he has already paid, and that does not permit him to stop paying child support," Judge van Rensburg wrote.

Mr. Cornelio had argued his former spouse, Anciolina Cornelio, provided him with "incomplete and misleading information" that led him to believe he was the biological father of the twins.

He told the court his ex-wife failed to disclose an extramarital affair before the twins' birth, concealing the fact that he may not be their father.

Mr. Cornelio was seeking repayment of the child support he paid out since the couple separated in 1998, or at least from May of 2002, when the pair agreed to joint custody and child support.

But the judge pointed out that Mr. Cornelio knew at the time of separation that his wife had an extramarital affair with someone named Tony, who may have fathered the twins -- but he sought joint custody regardless. He only began pursuing the issue after Ms. Cornelio began seeking increased child-support payments.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cornered, suspect in 3 slayings kills self

CANDLER – By all accounts, Richard Heatwole just snapped.

New Year's Eve marked the end of a long, bitter divorce that left him with rights to see the kids on the weekends and a court order to be out of the family home by 5 p.m. that day.
His golf driving range business was losing money, according to court papers, and two months before he was threatened with jail time for not paying child support.
Investigators on Friday were still sorting out the details of what happened from the time Heatwole was to hand his former wife the keys to their Candler home and his apparent suicide in a police standoff 100 miles away.
Deputies found Angie Heatwole, 49, dead about noon Thursday morning in a downstairs bedroom of the house at 272 Old U.S. 19-23 in Candler.
Divina Gracia Agulto, 43, who had been renting a room there, was dead upstairs. Next door, Lesley Curtis Moore Keogh was dead on her front porch.
Agulto lived in Buncombe County since at least 2005, when she had a Fairview address, records show. She listed a Bronx, N.Y., address in 2003. Family members could not be reached Friday.
Before moving to Candler, records show Keogh lived in Asheville, Pennsylvania and Florida. A woman who identified herself as related to Keogh declined comment when reached by phone Friday.
Charles Rice rented the house at 264 Old U.S. 19-23 to Keogh for about five years. Rice said Keogh lived at the home by herself.
“She was a very pleasant lady, who always paid her rent on time and fed the birds,” Rice said. “She didn't work. She had another means of support.”
Authorities would not divulge Friday how the three people died.
About the time investigators found their bodies, Heatwole was seen arriving with his 6-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter at his cousin's house in Taylorsville.
He said nothing about the three people investigators say he had just killed.
“We know that they were going through a divorce, we know that they had some disagreements over some different property that was to change hands between the two,” said Lt. Ross Dillingham of the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office “We know that may have precipitated this incident, but for a definite on what happened, I don't know.”
Richard Heatwole married Angela Neilson on Sept. 4, 1997.
Their first child, Hailey, was born the next year. Their second, Hayes Alexander, was born in 2002.
A year later, Richard Heatwole adopted Chelsea Ann Heatwole, according to court papers.
Richard Heatwole operated a driving range called Big D's. Angie Heatwole worked at her family's fabric shop in Asheville.
They sent their kids to Evergreen Community Charter School and bought a house at the end of a long gravel drive in Candler. It had a trailer on the front of the property that Richard Heatwole used as his business office.
“I'd see him in passing, and he threw his hand up,” said neighbor Clyde Curtis, who lived across the highway. “He seemed friendly enough.”
The inch-thick court file on the Heatwole divorce doesn't say exactly what went wrong in the marriage.
The couple went through mediation in September 2006 and a month later reached a child-custody agreement.
Hailey and Hayes would see their father on the weekends and they would split holidays between the two parents.
Chelsea, who was 10 years older than her little brother, would be allowed to visit her father any time she wanted.
But the Heatwoles couldn't agree on what to do with the house.
She offered to sell him her share for $57,000. He didn't take it.
She wanted to put the property on the market but he wouldn't clean up trash and a junked truck to make it presentable to a buyer, according to the court papers. He continued to live there, refused to cut the grass and rented out a room.
The two sides and their attorneys fought for two years.
In November, a judge ordered Richard Heatwole to be out of the house by Dec. 31 at 5 p.m. He had to have his tenant out as well and leave the place in marketable condition.
On top of that, Heatwole was $1,759 behind in child support payments.
The court in September had threatened him with jail sentence, according to records. He paid his bill in full on Nov. 10, the day before a scheduled court hearing on the matter.
Deputies arrived at the Candler home looking for Angie Heatwole at 11:45 a.m. Thursday.
The deputies issued an Amber Alert for her two youngest children after finding her dead.
The alert sent to TV stations and newspapers caught the attention of a couple who had seen Heatwole drive up to a cousin's house in Taylorsville.
Authorities in Buncombe County had arrest warrants for kidnapping issued in the middle of the night, Dillingham said. Heatwole was charged with kidnapping because he had violated the terms of his custody agreement.
Meanwhile, the SWAT teams at the Alexander County Sheriff's Office and the neighboring Catawba County Sheriff's Office were assembling for a raid on the home of Michael Daniels, Heatwole's cousin. The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation was on the way.
Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan and his detectives headed for Taylorsville with the warrants in hand.
At 1 a.m., an officer used a patrol car loudspeaker to tell Heatwole he was surrounded and demand that he surrender.
It would be five hours before the Heatwole children were safe and out of the house.
Dillingham, the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office lieutenant, estimates as many as 60 officers were outside Daniels' mobile home on Ode Kerley Lane when the call to surrender went out.
At 2 a.m. officers heard a gunshot inside the mobile home.
Heatwole had apparently killed himself with a .410 shotgun, Alexander sheriff's Capt. Keith Warren said.
Daniels shouted to police from his back door that his cousin had killed himself. But officers couldn't be sure they weren't walking into a trap. And Daniels was afraid he would be shot if he came out, Sheriff Hayden Bentley said.
So officers continued the standoff for nearly four more hours, talking to Daniels first by loudspeaker, then by a phone they dropped on his doorstep.
They tried to talk Heatwole's daughter into coming out when she stuck her head out the door.
Officers shot out some outdoor lights to keep themselves out of sight of those inside.
To prove Heatwole was dead, Daniels agreed to take an SBI camera into his house. It transmitted video to officers of Heatwole's body on the floor.
They entered the house without incident at about 5:30 a.m., arresting Daniels and ushering the children into a patrol car. more

DNA test doesn’t stop Oklahoma man's child support liability

When an Oklahoma man’s ex-wife told him she was pregnant, he asked if he was the father.
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"She said, ‘Yeah, 100 percent sure you’re the dad,’ so I didn’t question it past that,” the man said.
But that man, who asked to remain anonymous because of pending litigation, says testing shows otherwise. He provided The Oklahoman with a copy of genetic test results dated Nov. 10 from Identigene showing he is not the father. State law, though, compels him to continue paying child support even though he’s not a biological parent — and there are more like him.
Nearly 25 percent of about 3,000 paternity tests conducted by the state Department of Human Services from July 2007 through June ruled out the supposed father as the biological parent. Nationally, that number reaches nearly 30 percent, according to the American Association of Blood Banks.
State limitsDHS only performs genetic testing within the first two years of a child’s life, which is the state limit on contesting paternity.
After the two years, "it comes into the best interests of the child and protecting the child to ensure that there’s a source of reliable support,” said Jeff Wagner, spokesman for the DHS Child Support Enforcement Division.
The child the Oklahoma man pays child support for is nearly 5 years old. more

N.Y. lawmakers: No more taxes on child support

TROY — Rensselaer County legislators on both sides of the aisle have sponsored resolutions asking Congress to once again fund programs that support child support collection enforcement.
Such programs used to be funded by the federal government, but as part of the Deficit Reduction Act, signed into law in 2006 by President George W. Bush, funding was cut. To use the programs, child support recipients have to pay a $25 fee after $500 in child support is collected.
"The child support enforcement program has proven to be an effective program, assisting families in obtaining the money they need for basic necessities," said Democratic Minority Leader Ginny O'Brian, who sponsored the minority's resolution. "Child support accounts for up to 30 percent of the total income for some poverty-level families, and to take a fee out of that money is just not right."
Republican Legislator Martin Reid, sponsor of the majority's resolution said, "The majority has introduced a resolution calling for the child support fee to be rescinded. We feel the fee is unfair and unnecessary, and Congress should act immediately to end the practice."
Many who oppose the fee cite the impact it has on needy families. "The child support fee unfairly takes money away from families who are already facing challenges," said Republican Legislator Lester Goodermote. "Our residents pay enough in taxes and fees and this is one governmental

surcharge that should be junked as soon as possible." more

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I was laid off my job, can I get a break on child support?

Q I was one of hundreds of people laid off from my job recently. I’ve been looking for a new job, but I haven’t found anything yet. With no income, I haven’t been able to make any child support payments to my ex-wife. I’m not a deadbeat dad; I’m just out of work. Can I get my payments lowered or suspended until I find work?
A. Maybe. You can hire a lawyer and seek court approval for a modification of your court-ordered child support payments. However, by the time your case gets heard, you may already have a new job or you may be impossibly far behind on your payments.
Another option is to talk to your ex-wife to see if she would let you pay less than you owe, or perhaps nothing, until you find a new job, with the understanding that you will attempt to make up the missed payments when you are able.
Even if your ex-wife is not agreeable to your plan, you should still try to pay as much as you can each month. Later, if you find yourself in court defending your lack of payments, you will be able to demonstrate that you paid all you could afford, even though you were out of work.
But don’t forget: Interest adds up quickly on unpaid and underpaid amounts. Plus, the law does allow a judge to send you to jail for failing to make the child support payments.

federal judge has rejected a lawsuit to stop Massachusetts from imposing new child support guidelines.

BOSTON — A federal judge has rejected a lawsuit that sought to stop Massachusetts from imposing new child support guidelines.
Fathers and Families, a Boston-based group that pushes for reform of child custody and support policies, last month sued Judge Robert Mulligan, the state’s chief administrative judge over new guidelines that went into effect Jan. 1. The group claims the new guidelines are unfair and do not take into account the costs of raising children.
Judge Douglas Woodlock on Monday denied the group’s request for an injunction to stop the new guidelines from being used in family court. The judge said it would be inappropriate for the federal courts to get involved in a battle over state regulations. more

Fathers’ group sues to stop new child support rules

A nonprofit organization opposing revisions to the Massachusetts child support guidelines that took effect on Jan. 1 appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock in Boston this morning to ask for a halt to their implementation.
Fathers & Families, a Boston-based group that advocates for “children’s right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce,” filed suit against Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert A. Mulligan and other trial court judges on Dec. 23. That same day, the group filed a request for a preliminary injunction in hopes of preventing judges in Massachusetts from applying the new guidelines to cases involving child support after Jan. 1, 2009.
Ned Holstein, executive director of Fathers & Families, served on the 12-member task force convened by Mulligan in 2006 to rework the guidelines. He told Lawyers Weekly in an interview for a story last November about the new guidelines that he tried in vain to convince the task force that the revisions would prove too expensive for many non-custodial parents. When the task force unveiled the new guidelines in November, Holstein wrote a dissenting report that characterized them as flawed and unfair.
In its lawsuit, Fathers & Families argues that Mulligan and the Trial Court violated the federal equal protection clause by implementing discriminatory rules, the federal due process clause by passing a law by “judicial fiat,” and the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights by passing a law without the participation of the other two branches of state government.
The group also argues that the new guidelines are “arbitrary and capricious” where the Trial Court did not consider, as statutorily required, any “data on the cost of raising children.”more

Monday, January 5, 2009

Dad Ordered to Pay Child Support Kills Son

NEW ORLEANS — A man who initially told police gunmen kidnapped his 2 1/2-year-old son was arrested Saturday, accused of committing an "extremely hideous" murder because he was ordered to pay child support, Police Superintendent Warren Riley said.
Danny Platt confessed, told police where to find the child's body and will be booked with first-degree murder of Ja' Shawn Powell, Riley said at a news conference.
"He had said he would kill either his wife or his child before he paid child support," which he recently had been ordered to do, Riley said.
Riley said he did not know the amount of child support and would not describe how the boy was killed, saying the coroner would do that after the autopsy was complete. The coroner's spokesman did not immediately return a call.
"The mother is in a safe place," Riley said.
Although he had visiting rights, Platt, 22, of New Orleans, had never visited the boy until he picked him up Friday, Riley said.
Police put out a notice Saturday asking people to look for the boy and saying his father had told them three men with dreadlocks and AK-47 rifles had piled out of an SUV and kidnapped Ja' Shawn shortly before midnight Friday. more

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