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Divorce Drama on the Real Housewives of New York

Child support is an issue that is often litigated in family law cases. Many of these cases result from a parent who fails to pay court ordered child support, either because he/she cannot afford to pay it, or possibly because he/she just does not want to pay it. If that parent can show that the non-payment is not willful, he/she may be given the benefit of the doubt by a Judge, which can result in a payment plan to get the payor up to date, rather than jail time for nonpayment. However, a parent who fails to pay child support and other ordered expenses while flaunting his wealth in other areas of his life will not be given this same benefit of the doubt by the Judge and is likely to find himself/herself on the Judge’s bad side.

The estranged husband of “Real Housewives of New York” star Jules Wainstein appears to have gotten himself into this very situation. Michael Weinstein currently owes Jules $20,000 in child support, $33,900 for their children’s private school, and $34,190 for back rent and other expenses. Jules Wainstein says she’s facing eviction while estranged husband parties, by Julie Marsh, pagesix.com, January 18, 2017. This nonpayment has resulted in eviction notices for the floors of the residence on which Jules and her children live. There has been no eviction notice for the third floor on which Michael lives, presumably because he has been paying his own expenses. According to Jules’ lawyer, while Michael has failed to pay the sums he owes her, he has been hosting expensive parties, traveling, and pursuing his pilot’s license.

Though Michael’s lawyer has denied these claims, the Judge in the case appears to side with Jules in this case, asking, “Why are we pursuing pilot’s license instead of paying child support?” The Judge already ordered Michael to immediately pay Jules $25,000 and further set a hearing to determine if he will face jail time or a fine for his actions. Thus, the Judge has already determined that Michael’s actions were wrong and his nonpayment of child support and other owed expenses was willful. Now, he just needs to determine the punishment for these actions.

The ruling of the Judge in this case is similar to that which a Georgia judge would hand down if these facts were presented in Georgia. As mentioned above, a parent who fails to pay court ordered expenses while flaunting his wealth in other areas of his life will find himself on the wrong side of the Judge and the law. This will ultimately result in some sort of punishment, either monetary or imprisonment. If you are ordered to pay child support (or other financial support), and are having trouble making ends meet, do not just stop paying, even if you feel that you are entitled to a downward modification. Rather, continue to pay as much as you are able, and file for a modification as soon as possible so that the court ordered support amount can (hopefully) be changed. 

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