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CANTON — Jarrod Hochman, the Peabody School Committeeman making a bid for city councilor-at-large, was before a probate judge last week as his ex-wife alleged he owes more than $7,200 in back child support.
“He has put a financial strain on the children and I for the last three years,” Jacqueline White told the court.
The couple were married in 1998. A divorce agreement in 2013 provided shared custody and child support payments for their three children, now 11, 12 and 17.
At issue is Norfolk Probate and Family Court Judge George Phelan‘s order from May, 2017. At the time, White owed her ex $4,681 for the children’s religious education at Temple Beth Shalom and school fees.
Phelan’s ruling allowed Hochman to reduce his $184 weekly child support payment to $100 a week for one year to repay the money he was owed. By deducting $84 per week though May 18, 2018, Hochman was repaid $4,368 of the debt over that period. The remaining amount of about $300 has been paid, White said.
But White told the court’s new judge, First Justice Patricia Gorman, that Hochman failed to resume the full child support payment when the debt was repaid more than a year ago. That brings the total to $7,308 as of last week.
In February, Gorman ordered $184 be paid weekly without a reduction.
“Now, it’s October and I’m still getting $84 a week … and it’s adding up,” White said.
In response, Hochman told the judge: “None of that is relevant, what’s before the court is a modification of child support.”
But the judge interrupted him, saying: “Well, no, it’s kind of relevant, I think, if in fact she’s saying that she hasn’t been getting the right amount of child support … I wrote the memo that the reduction that existed was supposed to be put back in place … there’s a discrepancy that has not been corrected by you.”
Hochman insisted he didn’t understand the discrepancy. Gorman replied, “The order only covered you being reimbursed for the money that she hadn’t paid, it did not give you the right to continue to pay a reduced amount of child support.”
The judge took the case under advisement and is expected to issue a ruling within two weeks.
Hochman’s child support issues come on the heels of disclosure that the Internal Revenue Service has placed two liens on his home for nonpayment of federal income taxes.
Documents filed at the South Essex Registry of Deeds reveal the 49-year-old attorney with a private practice in Revere owes small business taxes for three years. For 2013, the amount was $34,704, for 2014 it’s an added $6,027, and in 2016 the tab was $9,670, for a total of $50,431.
Liens protect the government’s interest in the real estate, personal property and financial assets of the person who owes the debt.
Hochman did not return a call seeking comment.
White declined to be interviewed.
Hochman hopes to leave his seat on the School Committee for a spot on the City Council. Four incumbents, Thomas Gould, Anne Manning-Martin, Thomas Rossignoll and Ryan Melville, are seeking reelection. In addition to Hochman, Ward 1 Councilor Jon Turco, who is giving up his seat to run, and retired Peabody Police Capt. John DeRosa Jr. are in the race.
Voters will select five at-large councilors in the final election on Tuesday, Nov. 5.