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State offers program to help in paying child support

Some non-custodial parents in Pennsylvania are unable to make the monthly, court-ordered payments to support their children. Although they may desperately want to make those child support payments each month, the reasons may vary as to why it just cannot be done. Another state has a program that helps parents in their mission to financially support the children they helped bring into the world.

Although the Parental Accountability Court has been in the state since 2008, three mid-state counties have collected over $300,000 in child support since the program began in that area in 2013. A large percentage of the participants have either been in jail or were close to incarceration for non-payment of child support. The program helps the participants with training, education and job placement in order to get their lives back on track so they can be the parents they want to be.

Since its inception, the mid-state program has had 161 parents to participate and 34 to successfully complete it. Those enrolled have 18 months to meet all requirements, part of which is to meet with the judge over the program once each month and twice each month with program personnel. Missed meetings results in time spent doing community service. Participants who do not graduate for any reason once again face jail time for missed support payments.

Most custodial parents know how crucial child support payments are when food, clothing and medical expenses need to be met. There are penalties for non-custodial parents who fail to make financial support payments. As each case is different, and because laws often change, an attorney experienced in handling family law cases in Pennsylvania can assist residents who have concerns.

Source: macon.com, "Parental Accountability Court offers help to dads who owe child support", Amy Leigh Womack, April 21, 2017

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