Judge Says Singer McKnight Owes $341,640 in Back Child Support

| Jun 21, 2010 | Child Support |

If you’re the target of any type of legal action and you don’t show up in court, you run the risk of losing by default. This is called a “default judgment.”

Earlier this month, R&B singer and late-night talk show host Brian McKnight learned that lesson the hard way: Because McKnight failed to respond to a paternity lawsuit, a Florida judge has issued a default judgment naming him the father of a 14-year-old boy and ordering him to pay $341,640 in back child support.

Miriam Lee, the mother of the 14 year-old, filed the paternity lawsuit against McKnight in Orange County, Florida, last year. In addition to seeking recognition of her McKnight’s paternity of her son, her lawsuit was a child support enforcement action against McKnight. Ms. Lee claimed 14 years of back child support at a rate of $11,388 a month — to reach a total of $341,640.

McKnight failed to file any documentation challenging Ms. Lee’s claims and did not appear in court. As a result, the judge was forced to rule in favor of Ms. Lee on every part of her claim. McKnight is now legally obligated to pay the nearly $350,000 in back child support — and to continue the payments — unless he is able to obtain a new or modified order from the judge.

A spokesman for Brian McKnight told TMZ.com that McKnight does not concede he is the father of Ms. Lee’s son.

“The judgment in Florida was a default judgment made without Brian present,” McKnight’s representative said. “He’s still looking to establish paternity, and is awaiting the results of a recent test.”

Should the paternity test turn out to be negative, McKnight could ask for the case to be reopened.

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