The answer to the question can you go to jail for not paying child support can vary depending on the state and the circumstances surrounding the case. But there are some general guidelines that can help you get the help you need.
Georgia case highlights plight of noncustodial parents
The Georgia case of a noncustodial parent jailed for failing to pay child support highlights a difficult plight that many parents face. A parent can be found in contempt if he or she fails to pay, but the state can take action to enforce the payment. Depending on the circumstances, the parent can spend one to three years in prison.
In this case, the noncustodial parent was found to be in arrears of nearly $6,000 in support payments over the past 13 years. He was also ordered to pay attorney fees, as well as other expenses.
After a DNA test proved that the child was not his, the court revoked the order to pay support and ordered him to clear his debt. This means he must clear his income tax and driver’s license.
The Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) will try to collect the arrears through various collection methods. It may seize the noncustodial parent’s income or property. Alternatively, it can suspend the noncustodial parent’s licenses or job-related licenses. Similarly, the agency may intercept lottery winnings of over $2,500.
A custodial parent can bring an action for support to a superior court. If the action is successful, the judge may order the noncustodial parent to pay the full amount or a portion of the attorney fees.
State efforts to ensure obligations are calculated based on the noncustodial parent’s ability to pay
State efforts to ensure obligations are calculated based on the noncustodial parent’s ability to pay are laudable, but may also result in harmful consequences. For example, denying food assistance to low-income households puts the health and well-being of children at risk. It also perpetuates instability in the lives of SNAP participants.
States are also experimenting with other approaches to child support enforcement. These include debt-reduction planning, enhanced child support review, and tying arrears reduction to participation in a parenting program. While all of these initiatives are important, they do not address the root cause of many cases of non-payment.
Many non-custodial parents have good reasons for not engaging with Child Support. They are worried that interacting with the agency will put their relationships with their other parent at risk. In some cases, they have been victimized by abuse. Others are concerned that changing their behavior could lead to incarceration.
If states want to reduce the barriers to participation in the Child Support program, they need to understand the factors that prevent parents from using the program. Some of the most common problems include the complexity of the administration and the asymmetric risks associated with sanctions.
Mandatory cooperation is another way to encourage a non-custodial parent to cooperate with the Child Support program. However, it is expensive and requires a complex set of procedures. Moreover, it does not generate more child support payments to the custodial household.
Getting help through the child support system
Child support is a critical benefit that can make a significant impact on a child’s well-being. It can be used for food, shelter, and even toys. However, getting help through the child support system can be difficult. Here are three steps to making the most of this program.
The first step is to notify the court if you need assistance. If you do, a child support worker can locate you. He or she can help you determine what you are owed and can even help you get a court order to collect the money.
You can also seek assistance from a pro-bono legal advocacy group. They can offer you petition forms to begin the process. This can be a complicated procedure, so be sure to seek the help of an expert.
You can also apply for a debt elimination program, which will reduce your monthly dues. If you are a custodial parent, you can ask for a modified payment schedule.
You can also make your child support payments online. To do this, you need to establish an account with the Child Support Online Services. After doing so, you will be able to access your case information at any time.
When you are applying for child support, you will need to submit financial documentation. These documents should include proof of income, expenses paid on behalf of the children, and other relevant documentation.