All posts by BowTieLawyer

Matthew operates the Thompson Law Firm, pllc. A Ridgeland, Mississippi based Family Law firm emphasizing; Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Modification, Contempt and Appeals, handling family law cases throughout Mississippi. (601) 850-8000 Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms www.BowTieLawyer.ms

Tip of the Day: Don’t Read Tone into Text Messages

“Can you believe that he texted me this?!?” images

What did he text?

“When can I see the kids?”

So?

“He’s DEMANDING TO TAKE THE CHILDREN!”

Sometimes a text is just a text. The tip of the day is to not read tone into to text messages. On numerous occasions I have had clients read exchanges between themselves and their ex. They read their own words in an angelic voice, but their ex’s in a tone that is a maniacal monster. They literally change their tone of voice when reading the ex’s messages. It’s fascinating to watch. However, it can be counter productive.

Text messages are not proper English.  Words are abbreviated. Punctuation is often non-existent. This blog struggles with correct grammar. Text messages don’t even try to be grammatically correct.

Applying tone allows for the potential of miscommunication, may result in an unreasonable response and can get you all riled up unnecessarily. Even if there is tone what difference does it make? Respond thinking that a judge may see this one day.

Matthew Thompson is a Mississippi Divorce Attorney and tries daily to not read tone into text messages.

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Prison for NOT Paying Child Support? YES

You have seen the recent news about a local man being arrested and jailed for his refusal to pay Court Ordered Child Support. Now, this is only done after one is initially ordered to pay, doesn’t pay, then is formally requested to pay, given notice, given an opportunity to pay or prove their inability to pay with specificity, and then and only then, jailed as a last resort. In these circumstances, knowing the layers of review, the opportunities afforded by the Court and the fact that everyone had a lawyer (actually multiple lawyers), my sympathy is nil. This is Contempt of Court and ultimately the wrong-doer has the keys to the jail.  All you have to do is pay what you owe and you are free to go.

However, if you still don’t pay, your troubles can multiply.

TITLE 97.  CRIMES  
CHAPTER 5.  OFFENSES AFFECTING CHILDREN
Miss. Code Ann. § 97-5-3  (2016)
§ 97-5-3. Desertion or nonsupport of child under age eighteen
Any parent who shall desert or wilfully neglect or refuse to provide for the support and maintenance of his or her…children…while said…children are under the age of eighteen (18) years shall be guilty of a felony and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished for a first offense by a fine of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($ 100.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($ 500.00), or by commitment to the custody of the Department of Corrections not more than five (5) years, or both; and for a second or subsequent offense, by a fine of not less than One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000.00) nor more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($ 10,000.00), or by commitment to the custody of the Department of Corrections not less than two (2) years nor more than five (5) years, or both, in the discretion of the court.
Prison for not paying child support? Yes. It’s the law.
Matthew Thompson is a Child Custody and Child Support Attorney in Mississippi.
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Man jailed for owing $223K in back child support

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(Photo: Rankin County Sheriff’s Department)

, The Clarion-Ledger Published 4:49 p.m. CT Feb. 7, 2017 |

After five years on the run, a Rankin County man is in jail for failure to pay almost a quarter of a million dollars in child support.

Tony Haywood, 50, of Brandon, was arrested by the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department last week, according to attorney Matthew Thompson.

Thompson represents Haywood’s ex-wife, Renee Ainsworth. Haywood and Ainsworth, who were married for 16 years, have three children together. The couple divorced in Georgia in 2004. Child support was demanded from a Georgia court.

Haywood did not pay child support, Ainsworth said, and her ex-husband’s check was eventually garnished. Haywood quit his job after the first garnishment and moved to Mississippi, Ainsworth said.

“He told me I would never see any child support after that,” Ainsworth said.

Ainsworth said, to her knowledge, Haywood has been employed at his family’s trucking business, Haywood Trucking, since 2004. Calls to Haywood Trucking went unanswered Tuesday.

Both Haywood and Ainsworth are from Mississippi. Ainsworth eventually moved back to Mississippi. To support her three children, she briefly signed up for SNAP benefits.

“He may have paid $10,000 the whole time we’ve been divorced,” Ainsworth said. “I don’t own a home anymore, my life has been turned upside down.”

In 2012, a Rankin County judge ordered Haywood to pay $152,298.63 in unpaid child support and Ainsworth’s attorney’s fees.

Haywood did not show up for the hearing, and the judge issued an arrest warrant.

Thompson said Haywood has “been on the lamb” for the last five years.

“He just went off the grid,” Thompson said. “Since January of ’12, he has not paid the current child support like he was supposed to.”

With interest, Haywood now owes $223,776.65.

Haywood last paid $116 in November, Ainsworth said.

He was arrested  Feb. 2 for contempt of court by the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department. He is in the Rankin County Jail.

“In order for him to get out, he’s going to have to make a good faith sizable payment, as well he should,” Thompson said.

Ainsworth said she was shocked Haywood was arrested. Now, she said, she hopes she and her children can move forward.

“It’s about doing the right thing,” she said. “I’ve been praying for a miracle but this was so out of left field. I didn’t think he would ever get caught. I thought he was above the law … I’m just hoping something good will come out of it for me and my boys.”

Contact Sarah Fowler at 601-961-7303 or sfowler@gannett.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/local/2017/02/07/man-jailed-owing-223k-back-child-support/97608300/