R. Kelly (aka Robert Kelly) may have once believed he could fly, but no longer. Famous for hits such as “I believe I can fly” and “Bump n’ Grind,” Kelly has been under the microscope recently after two documentaries (“Surviving R. Kelly” and “R. Kelly: Sex, Girls & Videotapes”) explored the longstanding accusations of sexual misconduct against the singer. Kelly was recently arrested on multiple charges of aggravated criminal sex abuse. As soon as he was released, he was arrested on charges stemming from failing to pay his child support.
Kelly ended his marriage to Andrea Kelly in 2009. At a hearing that he did not to attend, Kelly was ordered to pay $20,833 per month in child support for their three children. His non-payment of support led a judge to set a deadline to pay $161,663 in order to avoid contempt. The day after the Court’s deadline passed without payment, Kelly was arrested. In a TV interview, Kelly claimed that he can’t pay support because his ex-wife is ruining his life and career with her accusations of abuse, which were included in the documentaries.
Contempt requires finding willful disobedience of court order with both knowledge and the ability to comply. If Kelly were convicted in California, because it is his first offense, he would be punished with community service up to 120 hours or imprisonment up to 120 hours. (CCP §1218). Kelly could also be found guilty under Penal Code §270 which makes it a misdemeanor to not support a child punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
If Kelly does not have the income to pay his support, which is likely given his criminal charges, then his ex-wife can ask the Court to turn to his assets to satisfy the arrears. Family Code §5100 allows for a writ of execution for this purpose. In addition, Family Code §§4600-§4641 provide an alternative (and more complicated) way to enforce child support arrearages by way of an asset deposit and sale order, and are intended to be extraordinary remedies for cases of bad faith failure to pay child support obligations.
Kelly will need to request a modification of his child support order if he wants to end the arrears from accruing. With his mounting legal charges, Kelly is probably wishing he were “Trapped in the Closet” to avoid it all.
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