The issue of child support is taken very seriously in the family court system. If a parent does not pay ordered support in Virginia, there are legal consequences. There are also legal consequences for anyone who fraudulently collects any kind of child support.
A woman is now facing up to 20 years in prison and very high fines for a scam she pleaded guilty to pulling on a man. The woman collected over $100,000 in child support from a man she said fathered her child. The man agreed to pay the woman $1,000 a month rather than let the woman pursue support through the family law court system. The problem with the situation is that the woman never gave birth to any child, much less a child fathered by the man she received support from for six years.
The couple had met online and had personal encounters some time later. The woman later contacted the man and said she was pregnant. She had produced a picture of a false birth certificate and also pictures of a baby who later turned out to be a relative's baby. The man feared court-ordered support would be the bulk of his income, so he therefore had agreed to pay a monthly amount set by the woman.
Fear of how much a child support order may be is not an uncommon reaction to realizing support must be paid for a child. However, the Virginia court system takes income into consideration and works to establish an amount that is payable by a parent and will also work to ensure paternity. If a parent feels that an order for child support is too much of a financial strain, that parent may be able to pursue a modification. In this case, agreeing to a payment outside of what a court may have ordered ended in fraud and cost a man thousands over the course of several years, reinforcing the recommendation that comprehensive legal advice and guidance may be needed when dealing with any child support or family law matter.
Source: daily-journal.com, "Prosecutors: Woman faked pregnancy, collected $100,000 in child support", Rachel Warmke, Dec. 19, 2014