Getting Blood From a Stone- Collecting Child Support

Getting an order for child support is the first step and thankfully, for many children, also the last. Unfortunately, there are too many cases where a child support order is not worth the paper it’s written on because the paying parent refuses to pay despite the existence of a court order.

How do they get away with it? They move away and hide, they work under the table, they feign illness and swear they are unable to work, they retire prematurely, they commence custody proceedings in an attempt to have primary residence of their children, thus avoiding the payment of child support, and on and on.

Collecting child support from a scoundrel parent can be a futile exercise, one where time, emotion, and most of all, money is thrown away trying to obtain “blood from a stone”.

However, Beth Ann Holderman from Pennsylvania found a novel way to pursue the father of her child who had not paid one cent and owed $42,803 in child support arrears. She hired bounty hunter Scott Bernstein to lure Joshua Garlathy to leave his home in Maui and return to Pennsylvania so she could get him before a judge.

What trap did Bernstein set? He convinced Garlathy that he was up for a role in a movie starring Jennifer Aniston, that was filming in Pennsylvania. A plane ticket was sent to him and when he arrived at the airport, Mr. Bernstein had a film crew on hand who videotaped his arrival and arrest for a reality TV show about parents who refuse to pay child support.

Mr. Garlathy defended himself calling the Pennsylvania court system unfair and insisting that he survived on disability payments and food stamps as he suffered from arthritis, psoriasis and depression. He said he had $80 in his bank account and his only assets were a guitar and a saxaphone. He refused to admit that he was working as a musician in Maui, asserting that he only played at open mike nights and received no income.

Suggesting that perhaps Mr. Garlathy lacked talent, Judge Kelly Banach found Mr. Garlathy in contempt of court for his failure to pay support and sentenced him to six months in county prison with a work release so that he could earn money in prison to pay the support owed. The judge also ordered Garlathy’s release from prison once he had paid of a minimum of $10,000. Criminal charges are pending against him as well.

For Mr. Garlathy to have fallen for this ploy he must have a tremendous ego. Imagine starring in a film with one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood.

Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang

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2 thoughts on “Getting Blood From a Stone- Collecting Child Support

  1. Hello, a lot of controversy regarding this case has surfaced. One fiscal question is “Why spend the taxpayors’ money on incarceration, work release, etc.?”. Think about the taxpayors’ money that has already been expended on Case Workers, States, Federal Government employees, Case worker hearings, Masters’ hearings, Judges’ hearings covering nineteen years. HOURS = TIME = TAXPYORS’ DOLLARS. Between two Countries, and five states this case has already expended within the enforcement proceedures GROSSLY over the meager $43,000.00 uncollected for one child.

    This legislation shall give P.A. Dept. of Domestic Relations the “teeth” required to apprehend “skippers”, and hopefully recouperate an underestimated $1.4 Billion dollars.

  2. Your post is excellent and I have referred it to many of my friends. My appreciation for the work that you have done. Thank you once again.

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