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Cause of death: child support

Nearly half of the marriages in Ohio and the U.S. end in divorce, and many of them with children in tow. Whether a child is young or grown, divorce can bring a number of changes to their lives and to the lives of their parents. For youngsters, it could mean changing schools, moving to a different city and spending time with each parent separately. The court may issue one parent with the responsibility of child support payments when young children are involved.

A 61-year-old Ohio man recently appeared before a state judge, requesting that his legal status of being deceased be changed. The man had fled the state in 1994, allegedly to escape child support obligations, and had been declared dead by the same judge that the man appeared before. The judge responded that there is a legal time limit of three years to petition a death ruling.

Apparently the man had lost his job and his income. His former spouse attests that he owed $26,000 in delinquent child support payments when he was declared legally dead. While the judge confirmed that the man looked to be in good health, he did not change the death ruling he issued nearly 20 years ago. The man cannot apply for a driver’s license or receive Social Security benefits.

There are a number of every day expenses associated with raising a child, like fees for extracurricular activities, medical needs and others, and they all require the financial support of a parent. When a parent fails to pay child support, or a parent faces financial hardships and finds it difficult to make support payments, it might be wise to speak with an experienced attorney.

Source: Reuters, “Ohio man remains legally dead despite his recent court plea,” Jason Reed JIR, Oct. 9, 2013

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