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Parents behind on child support given weeklong chance at amnesty


Newton parents who are expected to pay child support for their children and fall behind on those payments have reason to be in constant fear of arrest. Child support enforcement is a serious matter. A supporting parent who is having trouble keeping up with the monthly payments and sticking to the terms of the child support plan must take steps to get the situation rectified.

In an attempt to assist parents who are facing charges for delinquent payments, New Jersey is offering amnesty. It is the first time in 10 years that this is being done. The weeklong program is designed to assist parents who are otherwise law-abiding citizens keep from making matters worse by being arrested. Recently, a man who owed over $130,000 was arrested for failing to pay child support. If this program had been available, he might have been able to avoid arrest. During amnesty, people who have warrants out for their arrest have an opportunity to stabilize their circumstances.

Having a child is an important responsibility. Parents are legally required to pay for the care of their child. Many factors are involved in how much will be paid. Custodial parents and parents who are legally required to pay child support might have issues that require an alteration of an existing agreement. Before letting a case get out of hand by missing payments, a parent needs to understand the law. There are times when an adjustment to the agreement can be made and it will suit everyone's interests to prevent an arrest.

The state's decision to grant brief amnesty to parents who are behind on their monthly payments is designed to let supporting parents get a better handle on their finances. One of the worst things that can happen when a parent is required to pay child support is a lapse on the payments. It is a legal issue that could result in arrest and make matters far worse with the possibility of losing a job, having to pay legal fees and digging a deeper hole. With or without amnesty, when a parent is confronted with delinquent payments, it is a smart decision to try and get back on stronger footing by avoiding an arrest warrant.

Source: LehighValleyLive.com, "New Jersey offers deadbeat parents a chance to avoid jail during Child Support Amnesty Week," Matthew Bultman, April 28, 2014

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