In a California courtroom on March 9, entertainer Dean McDermott, the husband of actress Tori Spelling, was read his Miranda rights and threatened with jail time. McDermott was taken to court by his ex-wife, Mary Jo Eustace, with whom he has an 18-year-old son.
McDermott, who had not paid child support since October, said he had been struggling recently. He was facing one count of contempt of court for each month of a missed support payment for a total of eight counts. The judge gave the two an opportunity to negotiate but said that if McDermott did not pay half of what he owed by March 13, he would be sent to jail. Reportedly, McDermott owes thousands of dollars.
Eustace later withdrew the complaint, and this removed the threat of jail for McDermott on the following Monday. However, sources reported that Eustace would file another complaint if McDermott continued to fail to comply.
There may be steps people can take before they reach the point of being threatened with jail for nonpayment of child support. When they have a change in their life that means that they will no longer be able to keep up with support payments, they may need to go to court to request a modification. This modification is not retroactive, so if they are already behind, they will still owe payments plus any interest on child support up until the time of the modification’s approval. Parents who does not pay child support might have their wages, tax refunds or other sources of income garnished, and jail may eventually be a possibility. However, this may be more likely to happen after efforts to collect support by other means have failed.
Source: FOX News, “Dean McDermott may face jail time if he doesn’t pay child support“, March 10, 2017