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Musician jailed as he struggled with child support payments

For noncustodial parents in Minnesota who are unable to meet their child support obligations, the ultimate fear is being forced to serve jail time for the offense. In many cases, these parents simply do not have the funds and are not malicious with their actions.

Luckily, even if a case comes to that, parents are often given opportunities to make right on their child support debts. This is holding true in another Great Lakes state, where a rockabilly musician was forced to spend 20 days in a county jail for failing to make child support payments for his 16-year-old daughter. He was behind a whopping $34,000. He even penned a song about his experience behind bars. He eventually got out when he issued a payment of $10,500, which he said came from his music sales and deposits for shows he was slated to perform.

Now, he is ordered to pay $278 a month in child support. On top of that, if he can make consistent progress on his outstanding debt, his charge will be downgraded to a misdemeanor offense. He could have his charge thrown out altogether if he can eliminate his debt.

The man argued that he is very supportive of his daughter. To some extent, the expenses tied in with seeing his daughter forced him to fall further behind on child support payments. He could have devoted that sum to the payments, but said he would rather see his daughter. 

An independent musician generally makes a meager income. Even the man admitted he has not seen many fruits of his labor. In situations like this, it is better to ask a judge to adjust child support payments instead of not paying them all together. These payments are important for a child, providing them with necessities they need for a higher quality of life.

Source: MLive.com, "Musician Cash O'Riley says he will make child support payments, avoiding another trip to Jackson County Jail," Danielle Salisbury, Feb. 20, 2013

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