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Popular entertainer goes to court over child support dispute

Alabama residents understand that financial circumstances in a person’s life can change over time. From matters involving a person’s job to changes in family composition, there can be a variety of factors that bear on a person’s financial situation.

It comes as no surprise, then, that as a person’s financial situation changes, so too does their needs when it comes to child support. Yet no matter what the circumstances, individuals must be careful to comply with legal requirements before acting alone in a child support dispute.

Take, for instance, the situation of entertainer Joe Piscopo, who pays child support for the three children whom he shares with his ex-wife. Piscopo must pay $5,000 per child in child support each month, and was recently ordered to pay $10,000 in child support by the end of December, as well as an additional $50 per week toward his support arrearage after he fell behind by about $30,000 in his child support payments.

In court, Piscopo had argued his income was inconsistent, which accounted for the delinquent payments. His ex-wife challenged this assertion, however, noting the entertainer’s website showed several gigs where he was earning income.

Ultimately, no matter what the outcome of Piscopo’s dispute, it illustrates an important point. Because child support is a court order, a judge must approve any changes to the order. Accordingly, if a person has a change in his or her financial circumstances warranting a modification of child support, the person must make these arguments before the judge and obtain a modification order before simply deciding to change the child support amount that he or she must pay.

Indeed, in order to modify child support, the person typically must show some change in circumstances. If the person establishes the need to change child support payments, the judge can order a modification to be carried out on a temporary or permanent basis.

Source: The Star-Ledger, “Judge orders Joe Piscopo to pay $10k in child support,” Julia Terruso, Nov. 30, 2012