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Father of missing woman's children excused from child support

There are very few circumstances that will allow a parent to avoid making child support payments. But in highly unusual situations, it's been known to happen. Last month we told you about a man who was named the prime suspect in his ex-fiance's disappearance. On Thursday, a judge ruled the man will not be required to pay child support.

The man's ex-fiance went missing in mid-November on the same day the couple appeared on TV in "The People's Court" to resolve a dispute over a missing $5,000 engagement ring. Although their two children were removed from his care after he was named a suspect, he was later granted custody.

Last week, the man filed paperwork explaining that his children desperately needed the funds from the child support account he pays into. A judge said yesterday that the money should stay in his hands so he could pay for their expenses directly instead of going unused into the special account. He'd been paying $800 per month for the twins. His attorney explained that in the wake of such a traumatic event, emotions have been running high and it was important for his client to have the maximum amount available to pay for food, clothing and other basics his children needed.

The man was a no-show in court for the child support hearing "for obvious reasons," his attorney said, but the missing woman's friends and family questioned his failure to appear. Some of them feel he's hiding information about her whereabouts. Although he remains the prime suspect, he has not been charged with any crimes in his ex-fiance's disappearance. Regardless of his guilt or innocence, the child support decision will free up some much-needed cash and allow him to cover his children's expenses.

Source: My Fox Orlando, "Child support payments waived for dad in missing mom case," Shannon Butler, Jan. 19, 2012

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