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Unique approach to collecting past due child support

For many New Jersey parents, struggling to provide financial support for their kids is an ongoing challenge. In households where only one parent is present, financial support from the other parent is critical to covering expenses related to raising shared children. When child support is not forthcoming, it places an enormous burden on families and on state agencies tasked with collecting unpaid child support.

An unusual approach is currently underway in the nation's capital. Parents who have fallen behind on their child support obligations are invited to participate in an amnesty program. The goals of that program include getting parents back on track and providing assistance in meeting child support obligations.

Parents who take advantage of the program are able to avoid many of the negative ramifications that come with past due child support payments. In addition, they are provided support and counseling to help them address their own financial issues. That assistance can help restore their ability to support their children.

The program also strives to change the impression that many people have regarding unpaid child support. Instead of being viewed as deadbeat parents, those behind this program point out that many of these parents want to do what's right for their children, but lack the means to cover their current child support obligations. The program is aimed at supporting both custodial and noncustodial parents, not on penalizing one side while providing no real benefit to the other. For those in New Jersey who want to get back on track with their own child support payments, working with a family law attorney is a great place to learn about similar resources and various payment options.

Source: The Washington Post, "D.C. offers amnesty to parents who are behind in child support", Michael Alison Chandler, Sept. 7, 2017

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