Another Successful Child Support Amnesty Program

When noncustodial parents didn't respond to threats of jail, a Kentucky county tried a different approach.
Yesterday a reader disagreed with my post, Child Support Felony Conviction for $2,846 Owed. Cheryl, who blogs at Questforchildsupport, said that the noncustodial parent "only had to pay 35 bucks a month, that's 1800 a year, so he didn't pay for TWO years...why wouldn't that be punishable by criminal proceedings?"

The point is not whether criminal proceedings could have been brought against the man, but whether they should have been brought. It's a waste of resources to prosecute a noncustodial parent for this amount of money when there are other ways to collect it.

I've written before that Child Support Amnesty Programs Get Results. Today's inbox brings news of another successful program, this one in Bell County, Kentucky. The story says that according to local child support officials, "trying to force parents to pay up wasn't working." So they offered an amnesty. They promised not to arrest people with outstanding warrants if they would just come in and pay something toward their child support arrearages.

Child support officials reported that they received a huge response. One parent paid his entire $9,000 arrearage. Another paid only $100, but that's $100 more than previously had been paid.

Collecting this child support did not require a district attorney to present the case to a grand jury, obtain an indictment, try the case before a jury of twelve who no doubt had better things to do, and take up court time that could have been used on other cases. Bell County came up with a better approach.

AddThis Feed Button