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NC court rejects religion as excuse to avoid child support

The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled earlier this month that the father who quit his job to join a religious commune will not be able to escape child support and alimony payments.  

John Lee Shippen quit his job as a corrections officer and moved to the Twelve Tribes of Israel religious commune, which prohibits its members from earning outside income.  Shippen declared that it was against his religion to pay the child support and alimony payments of $1,106 per month to his ex-wife Shirley Ritchie Shippen.

When John Lee Shippen failed to make his child support and alimony payments he was found in contempt.  After this, he appealed the ruling, however the North Carolina Court of Appeals denied the appeal.  Judge Wanda Bryant stated, "Defendant did not quit his job and join a religious community until after entry of the support order…That defendant's religious beliefs are sincerely held, as the trial court found, is irrelevant".

To discuss child support or alimony payments, contact the Raleigh child support lawyers of Marshall & Taylor P.C. at 919-833-1040 to learn more about your rights.