Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Child support: The R. Kelly case

News about R. Kelly and his fight over his financial obligation to his kids is all over the internet right now. Regardless of whether Massachusetts residents are fans of this individual, there are a few things to be learned from his child support case. Those lessons are: fight for a fair agreement from the get-go, pay up in full and on time, and seek a modification if necessary.

R. Kelly was recently released from jail where he was held for a total of three days for failing to pay over $161,000 in child support to his ex. He has repeatedly claimed that he lacks the funds to maintain his $21,000-a-month support obligation. A news report claims that a fan gifted him the money to pay his bail and the child support owed, so that he could be released.

Kelly went back to court to address his support situation, and the judge assigned to his case failed to reduce the amount he is to pay on a monthly basis. This is a decision Kelly plans to fight, as his income is not what it once was. If he wishes to achieve a modification, he will have to provide evidence that he has experienced a change in his economic status.

Here's the deal with child support: the amount one is ordered to pay can be difficult to change down the line. So, before agreeing to anything, make sure that it is fair and within one's ability to pay -- legal counsel can help with that. In order to avoid jail or a number of other enforcement tactics deemed acceptable in the state of Massachusetts, pay support according to the terms laid out in the order. Finally, if a modification is needed due to a change in economic status, file the adjustment request immediately -- a family law attorney can also help with that.

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