The rapper DMX was recently taken into police custody in New York while about to perform at Radio City Music Hall at the Masters of Ceremony concert. A member of the New York City Sheriff’s Department said that DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was arrested for unpaid child support along with several other “issues outstanding.”
Mr. Simmons reportedly owes $400,000 in unpaid child support and also had outstanding warrants for absconding after posting bail in White Plains and a robbery charge out of Newark, New Jersey. A management company that has represented DMX in the past did not respond to an email asking for comment sent by the Associated Press.
The failure to pay child support can constitute a crime in many jurisdictions, and it is also subject to a court’s contempt powers. In some situations, delinquent parents can avoid incarceration if they can pay off a substantial portion of the amount owed. There may also be defenses in a child support case, such as the fact that nonpayment was not willful. To assert this defense, the parent may have to show that he or she was searching for employment but was unable to find it or had become disabled.
While there are those noncustodial parents who simply refuse to pay support out of spite or for other reasons, there are some who want to meet their obligations but become unable to do so due to an adverse change in financial circumstances. An attorney experienced in family law may be able to help such a parent in preparing a motion to modify an existing support order.