Some people in Pennsylvania may remember actor Mel Gibson's disputes with his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. Grigorieva rejected an offered $15 million deal from Gibson but accepted a settlement of $750,000 in 2011. She subsequently sued her lawyers, saying she was coerced into making a bad deal in her custody disagreement with Gibson, but she later dropped the lawsuit.
In 2015, she filed for bankruptcy. She hired a forensic accounting firm in order to get increased child support from Gibson, and as a result, his payments went up to $22,500 per month for their daughter. However, she still owes the firm more than $108,000. Gibson has already paid most of the rest.
Although Grigorieva's bankruptcy filing means she has 18 months to pay creditors, the accounting firm says she must pay in full immediately since she hired them after the bankruptcy. The company has filed a lawsuit against her.
It is not uncommon for couples who are divorced or who were never married to have disputes about child custody and support. The advantage of a formal child custody and support agreement is that both parents have legal recourse if the other parent does not follow the agreement. For example, one parent may fall behind on child support, and the other parent may stop the child's visitation with that parent as a result. The court system can help the parent who is owed support collect that support, but it can also help the other parent keep access to the child. Although there are a number of penalties a court may impose to compel a parent to pay child support, keeping the child away from the parent is not one of them. A parent who is unable to pay support can ask the court for a modification.
Source: Page Six, "Mel Gibson's ex sued for $108K over child support fight", Jessica Sager, Dec. 28, 2017