Jessop Child Support Case: The Bigger Picture
Carolyn Jessop’s child support case against Merril Jessop concluded today in San Angelo, Texas. Carolyn was seeking retroactive and future child support for her eight children who were fathered by Merril Jessop.
According to sources close to the case, the parties agreed to resolve all child support issues:
→ Future child support, beginning October 1, will be $2,350.00 per month indefinitely. The reason there is no end date to the child support obligation is so that the severely disabled child, Harrison, will be supported into adulthood.
→ Carolyn and Merril agreed on an amount of past child support from 2003 – present, and they agreed on the terms Merril will repay that amount to Carolyn. There will be a written settlement agreement, but the amount and terms of retroactive child support will not be filed with the Court unless Merril is delinquent on any payments under the agreement. Others have reported that the amount of retroactive child support is based on the maximum child support “cap.” We will provide more information as it becomes available.
→ Carolyn will pay for the children’s medical costs
→ Merril will get credit for any of his social security payments that have gone to the kids
Congratulations to Carolyn’s kids — they are the winners here! ! Hats off to Carolyn Jessop and Natalie Malonis for their tenacity and fearlessness in taking on the FLDS Priesthood and getting an outcome that those kids deserve and that has been a long time coming. Hip hip hooray!
WHAT IT MEANS FOR FLDS FATHERS, MOTHERS AND CHILDREN
This outcome has an impact well beyond its impact on Carolyn and her children.
This outcome sends a message to all FLDS fathers — you are responsible for ALL of your children. You bring them into the world, you must support them even if you have 30 other kids and 12 other wives. You are responsible for your children, even if they flee the cult, and even if you choose not to be involved in their lives and even if you consider them apostates and tainted — you are not relieved of your obligations to your kids even if you are the Bishop with a cult following, even if you hold all your assets in someone else’s name, even if you are 75 years old, and even if you think you and your thug bodyguards are real scary. If you live in Texas, you will be held accountable, and you will be ordered to support your children. Period.
Even more importantly, this outcome sends a message to all FLDS women and children as well — there is life beyond the compound walls, and you do not have to go without healthcare, food, clothing or basic necessities if you decide to leave the cult.
THERE IS HOPE!