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So the phrase, “Baby Mama Drama” has become a staple of the English language in the past few years, but really, for good reason.

So, I recently had a Baby Mama Drama child support case, so in the hopes that someone with some BMD is reading this, here we go.

So what  happens when a man (or woman) has a child support order and is unable or unwilling to make full (or any) payments? Well, an arrearage (or balance ) starts to add up, and then the baby mama, or baby daddy, gets mad, and contacts CSEA ( Child Support Enforcement Agency) and they start to pursue, i.e., threaten, said Mama or Daddy.

In my experience, clients generally underestimate the importance of this process, mainly because CSEA will give them an offer, or a “purge” and it will be something like this:

You owe $20,000.00 in back child support, you aren’t making payments,and we want to put you in jail for 90 days, but we will suspend that jail sentence, so if you give us a $2,000.00 lump sum, or make consistent payments over the next 12 months at $200.00 a month, then we will get off your back. If not, we will send you to jail.

So, clients sign up for this purge period, and then they miss a payment. Or make a partial payment. Then here comes CSEA’s head again.

Generally clients do all this without legal counsel, thinking they got it all under control.

Then, when the State of Ohio files something called “Motion to Execute Sentence) THEN the client calls a lawyer, frantic.

I got that call a couple months ago. Client had not complied with purge period, at all. Motion to Execute 54 days over him. Wasn’t sure how we were going to defend against that execution of sentence, but we did, arguing some medical issues that prevented him from working for a part of the time, and the State’s motion was denied, and the baby mama was mad, and CSEA is off his back for a while, until the process starts over.

So next time you overhear people talking about some baby mama drama with child support arrearages, ask them if they had a purge period of if the State has filed a Motion to Execute…Hey, you’ll at least sound smart.