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What have courts done to help with child support nonpayment?

Nonpayment of child support is one of the biggest hurdles that a lot of parents face. For those not getting payment, it can be impossible to make ends meet financially. For those not paying the proper amount, there are many looming ramifications, from a potential driver's license suspension to jail time.

To increase the amount of payments that do get made, courts and lawmakers have sometimes taken drastic steps. Some of these include:

  • Increasing a parent's assets to his or her children. If parents are given more visitation time and bond with their children, it can make them more likely to pay.
  • Reducing the amount that is owed. A person who lost a job may still want to pay, but, with the lower income, he or she needs a modification to make it realistic.
  • Forgiving back payments. Some people don't pay because they've fallen behind and they feel like they'll never get current anyway. Forgiving this debt or reducing the amount that is owed can convince them to pay.
  • Setting up parenting classes. Some parents do not feel like they really know how to be involved with their kids. The classes can give them ideas and instruction to raise the quality of that relationship. As these parents become more involved, they may also become more likely to pay on time.

This doesn't mean that these tactics will be used in every case, but it does show why it's so important to know what legal options exist. When nonpayment of child support becomes an issue, no matter which side you're on, you need to know exactly where you stand.

Source: National Fatherhood Initiative, "The Surprising Facts about Payments of Child Support," Christopher A. Brown, accessed Feb. 19, 2018

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