Many Pennsylvania parents who have sole custody of their children know how hard it is to run a household on just one pay check, and they count on the financial support of the non-custodial parents to provide decent lives for their children. Non-custodial parents who are financially able to pay child support, but fail to do so, may suffer the consequences of wage garnishment or even face jail time. However, there are parents who want to pay child support but are unable because of the lack of income.
For this group of people, there is a dilemma. Threatening these people with adverse consequences has done no good. A county in one state decided to begin a program to help the non-custodial parents in this situation turn things around. The parents who are chosen to participate are assessed based on income and parenting time. They are given assistance in accessing the state’s job placement program and appropriate clothing for and transportation to job interviews, as well as placement in seminars on life skills.
There are rewards for those who do a good job while in the program, such as Chuck E. Cheese gift cards that can be used to take children out for an evening or cellphones that allow them to receive calls about jobs. On the other hand, parents who do not meet the requirements of the program once they are accepted may have to perform some type of community service. Failure to comply can lead to dismissal from the program and jail time. If this program shows success during its trial period, the state plans to begin the program in other counties.
Children need not only financial support but also time and attention from both parents. The state of Pennsylvania has its own resources available to help parents in their pursuit to receive or to pay child support. If legal advice is needed, there are professionals who are ready and willing to help families as they strive to make the best lives they can for their children.
Source: mlive.com, “Michigan county’s child-support pilot program aims to help parents pay“, Eric Gaertner, May 17, 2016