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Stevie J avoids jail time for child support debt

Texas residents who are fans of the reality television show "Love & Hip-Hop" may have followed star Stevie J's child support case. In 2016, Stevie J was warned that he could face six months behind bars for an unpaid child support debt totaling $1.3 million. The back child support was for children that Stevie J fathered with his ex-wife.

A judge gave Stevie J until January to pay his child support debt, and he was in court for sentencing on Feb. 2. Though Stevie J had not settled his debt before his sentencing hearing, he was not handed any jail time. Instead, the judge sentenced him to three years of probation and ordered him to pay a $2,500 fine. Stevie J will also be required to make restitution payments that will cover at least part of his unpaid child support debt.

According to reports, Stevie J brought one of his sons to the court hearing with him. In a court statement, Stevie J said that he accepted responsibility for not fully supporting his children financially in the past. He also said that he now fully supports his children financially and has close relationships with them.

A parent who has a significant past due child support balance could face enforcement measures that may include wage garnishment, property liens and incarceration. People who cannot afford to pay off their back child support or make monthly child support payments may want to file a petition to modify the original order. Attorneys will remind their clients that even if is is granted, the modification is prospective only and has no effect on any amounts in arrears.

Source: BET, "Stevie J Finally Sentenced in Child Support Case ", Evelyn Diaz, Feb. 2, 2017

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