Government agencies around the country use a number of methods to collect overdue child support. Here in Nevada, drivers, business and recreational licenses can be revoked if a person fails to pay child support. Money can be taken directly from people's paychecks. In some cases, those who get seriously behind on their obligations can face jail time.
Child support enforcement agencies (CSEA)don't have a warm and fuzzy reputation because their job is to collect money needed by custodial parents to take care of their children. However, a new federal program being tested by eight local CSEAs around the country is seeking to determine whether working more closely with parents to help them resolve their payment issues may produce improved results.
In one of these eight counties, located in Ohio, CSEA officials have worked to make remitting payments easier by providing coupons and envelopes. The agency has also made the forms that need to be submitted to request a child support recalculation shorter and more user friendly.
The director of that agency says, "We want the process (to be) not so intimidating and overwhelming." In the past, these forms were so daunting that some people stopped paying rather than request a needed adjustment to their obligation.
The program also provides face-to-face contact with payers and recipients to help them resolve issues. If a person can't make it to the agency during business hours, their project case manager will email, call or text them to help resolve any issues. They even send thank-you notes when payments are made.
The program ended its first phase in April and is scheduled to run for five years. However, it remains to be seen whether it is survives the budget cuts proposed by the Trump administration to be rolled out to other areas.
If you're having difficulty paying the child support you've been ordered to pay or you believe that the amount is unfair, it's essential to talk with your Nevada family law attorney to see if you can get a modification of the child support order. Never just take matters into your own hands and stop or reduce your payments, even if your co-parent agrees to the change. If it's not handled through the court, you could find yourself facing serious consequences.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Will kinder approach improve getting child support paid?," Kimball Perry, The Columbus Dispatch, April 24, 2017