Skip to main content

How to clear arrears for child support while incarcerated?

Jacksonville, FL |

My brother was incarcerated in federal prison May 2000. In 2001, 4 women filed PA child support claims. He never received a hearing or a response to requests for paternity tests. While incarcerated, he received letters from Domestics stating they could not collect while he was incarcerated, but upon release in June 2011, he owed almost $40,000 in arrears. He had 2 tax returns garnished for this, as well as current support garnishment from his pay. Does he need to file a modification or provide proof of incarceration to Domestics to drop these arrears? Also he still wants paternity tests. Any information on how to go about this from Florida for PA, or what forms to send/request is appreciated. Thank you.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

I agree that a lawyer handling paternity cases needs to be consulted. Typically arrears are vested interests in the payee once they become due, and there are deadlines for appeals and rehearings that may have passed. There are very limited and specific circumstances that could warrant "disestablishment" of paternity, but more facts would be needed. Good luck to your brother, either way.

The information contained in this answer is for informational purposes only and should not be acted upon without first consulting legal counsel. This information is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor does it create any duty to respond to any further question(s) or further assert any opinion or statement. There should be no expectation of confidentially based upon the answer to this general question, and no attorney client relationship will be formed until the firm/attorney is official hired and retained.


If he has four separate paternity cases against him, then he really needs to sit down with a family law attorney. Only an attorney with all the facts can adequately answer this question. He has options and there are motions that can potentially be filed.
It may be too late to contest paternity if he never answered the petitions and the petitioners received default judgments. However, they need to show he was served. If he was in federal prison at the time, it would not have been hard to find him. Service of process is just one of the issues, hence his need to meet with an attorney in person.
There are issues with what financials they used to calculate child support, etc.
Unfortunately, his issues are much too complicated and no one on here can even begin to adequately answer your question. The best advice he will get on here is to hire an attorney, but he does have options.
This is a family law question so I am changing the practice area to family for you.

Please be advise that by answering a general question on this public forum DOES NOT establish an attorney-client relationship with the asker. Any answer given is a generalized answer based on the facts presented in the question and therefore any answer given is not legal advice. Only an attorney with all the facts and circumstances with whom you have consulted with in person can give you proper advice.


It sounds like he needs a family lawyer who handles paternity cases.

Please be advised that answering your questions on AVVO does not establish an attorney-client relationship with myself or the Umansky Law Firm, P.A. Please also know that anything that you post on Avvo or on any public forum site is open to the public and therefore can be obtained by the Government to use against you at a trial or a hearing. Be careful what you post publicly online! Please know that most of the lawyers on AVVO are taking their time to answer questions for free, so please mark answers helpful if the lawyer helped you!