Child Support Work-Release Instead of Jail?

Child support can be a major expense for anyone. What happens, though, when it is not just difficult to pay, but impossible?

By far the most common approach is to have the court hold them in contempt, and thrown in jail. There is a potential problem with this, however. Being thrown in jail prevents them from being able to earn any money in order to pay future child support, and chances are that once they’re released, they will be unemployed and with a criminal record to boot.

For many lower-income families, this can mean that the only way to pay back child support is to work 2 or even 3 jobs.

Luckily, however, there is a new trend that is slowly making its way around the country, and that is finding employment for individuals in order to pay off child support balances rather than throwing them in jail.

The latest example of this has shown up in Virginia, and it is a collaborative effort between social service agencies, the courts, and even fatherhood groups/programs.

While it is certainly a crime to neglect to pay child support, there is often much more going on than appears at first glance, and offering individuals the chance of working to pay off debts rather than spending time behind bars can only be seen as a good thing.

There are already dozens of success stories that have taken place in Virginia, and as the success of this program spreads, it is undeniable that it will continue to shift its way to other states. Keep your eyes peeled, because Florida could be next!

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/storyline/wp/2014/09/26/locking-up-parents-for-not-paying-child-support-can-be-a-modern-day-debtors-prison/

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