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Will child support rule survive a Trump administration?

Prisoners in New Jersey and elsewhere across the nation could soon find relief from the possible need to address large child support balances following release from incarceration, but it is unclear just how long the pathway to such relief might be open. In the final days of the Obama administration, new rules have been issued that would ultimately allow some inmates to seek to lower the amount of their child support payments while in prison. Prior to the revamp, some states had policies in place that effectively blocked this action.

The revamped rulings have been long-awaited by those with stake in the reform of what many believe to be an outdated criminal justice system, but they may face pushback from some Republicans following the presidential inauguration in January 2017. Opposing lawmakers have argued that some parents may simply take advantage of the overhaul of the system to avoid their financial responsibilities.

Conversely, supporters of the long-awaited regulations say that it is the children who will most benefit from the administration's action. A statement made by an assistant secretary of the Department for Children and Families Mark indicates that those affected by the changes could receive more reliable payments when the support order is based on a family's actual circumstances. It is also believed that there is less likelihood that people will return to prison if they are no longer faced with a large amount of debt immediately upon release.

New Jersey residents who might be impacted by the new rules may find it helpful to consult an attorney regarding any possible change that could be pursued in regard to the amount of child support payments. The attorney could keep them advised as to any further developments in this matter, and counsel may be able to file a petition seeking change in child support on a client's behalf as allowable.

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