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Actress pays husband's child support to keep him out of jail

Actress Tori Spelling, the famous daughter of TV legend Aaron Spelling, has been beset by financial problems for years due to a combination of a lavish lifestyle, a chronically unemployed spouse, five young children under the age of 11 and a variety of failed projects. Now, she can apparently add child support payments on behalf of her husband, actor Josh McDermott.

McDermott has been in serious danger of being jailed for not paying child support to his ex-wife for their 19-year-old. Recently, the checks from McDermott that were meant to cover his teenage son's rent and other college expenses started bouncing. When McDermott's ex-wife threatened to take the matter back to court, Spelling stepped forward and offered to pay the support in order to keep her spouse out of trouble.

The TV star's financial dilemma may sound unusual to a lot of people -- but it's a frequent reality for people who find themselves married to someone that has a child or children from another marriage. In contrast to what many people believe, child support -- like in this case -- doesn't always end when the child turns 18. The court can order support to continue well into the college years if it deems the support appropriate given the expectations the child might have enjoyed if his or her parents had stayed together. In addition, a spouse's income can be used to figure child support obligations.

The legal obligation to pay the support, however, falls entirely on the actual parent. If Spelling wasn't willing to pay her husband's support bill, his only hope to avoid legal trouble would be to ask the court to reconsider his obligation through a modification request. The court might be willing to do so -- if he could prove that his inability to find employment wasn't essentially voluntary (and the judge might want proof that he was looking for a job outside of acting).

Everyone who owes child support to a child from a former marriage should take a lesson from this situation. The penalties for not making those child support payments are serious. If you're not able to keep up, it's smart to approach the court about the problem before the checks start bouncing.

Source: The Mercury News, "Tori Spelling sparks new police call as it’s revealed she’s supporting Dean McDermott’s ex-wife," Martha Ross, March 19, 2018

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