Joshua Garlathy just knew he was destined for fame. Of course, seeking his fortune as a singing and dancing celebrity didn’t leave much time for being weighed down with heavy responsibilities like a stable address, marriage and taking care of his daughter. So when the mother of Garlathy’s child finally got fed up with trying to get him to pay child support she and her bounty hunter enlisted the best lure for a dead beat dad possible: Jennifer Aniston.
This whole story starts way back in 1993 when Beth Ann Holderman of Emmaus Pennsylvania filed to receive child support from Garlathy who worked as a musician and played around the country, apparently both literally and figuratively.
According to the Morning Call Newspaper in Pennsylvania Garlathy managed to avoid paying child support by moving around from state to state, and the Keystone State’s enforcement laws for back child support are pretty impotent once you cross state lines. At least until 2008 when State Representative ( R ) Dan Moul added an amendment to state law making it a crime to willfully avoid paying child support by leaving the state. Garlathy was the first person charged under the state law in 2010 but it took another 2 years and the lure of the former “Friends” actress to get him back into court.
Earlier this year with the help of a new reality TV show about deadbeat parents Ann Holderman hired bounty hunter Scott Bernstein to help recover over $43,000 in back child support from Joshua Garlathy. Bernstein located Garlathy through facebook where the now 40 year old non-paying Pop posted that he was living in Hawaii and playing guitar in small clubs all over the islands. Bernstein reached out via Facebook claiming to be a film producer that saw Garlahty perform and offered him a small role in a heist film called “Banished in Brooklyn” starring Jennifer Aniston. In no time flat the rolling stone guitar dad was flying from Hawaii to Philadelphia International airport where he was arrested the moment he got off the plane. Reality TV cameras followed the rest of the sordid affair as Garlathy was taken to jail, and immediately forked over $10,000 to start paying back his old bills. So I guess justice was served, although to only owe $43,000 in child support for the entire life of a kid is pretty pathetic in and of itself.
Dead beat parents and child support payments are a fairly big issue in this recession when many families are struggling to make ends meet and states should be much more aggressive in pursuing those who owe money. I’m not talking about people who can’t pay, nor am I talking about a parent who is holding off child support because the custodial parent is playing games with visitation. I’m talking about your basic men or women who know full well they owe money and refuse to pay and always have an excuse for not taking responsibility.
More states should get aggressive about pursuing parents who skip out on these responsibilities, and it shouldn’t have to take a bounty hunter and a promised movie role to lure somebody back stateside to do it. In the meantime, fair warning, if you’re a deadbeat parent hiding out of state and you get a random Facebook message telling you that Kanye wants you to open for his fall tour and all you have to do is come home, you might want to think twice about buying that ticket.