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New tool to aid parents with child custody in collecting support

The fairy tale of happily ever after doesn't always work out. When that happens in a family with children, there are the important matters of child custody and support that need to be settled. As some parents in Georgia may have experienced, making support payments on time can be challenging. That can make it difficult for those relying on timely payments.

Recently, one state has implemented another method to help ensure that parents who are in arrears in their support payments make an effort to bring their payments up to date. These parents will now receive notification from the Department of Motor Vehicles that they will be unable to renew their registrations until they are current or have a plan in place to become current on child support arrears. Only those parents who are 26 weeks or more behind will be subject to this new enforcement tactic.

Texas  also sends out a letter notifying parents approximately 60 days before their registration expires that support arrears payment plans must be in place before their vehicles can be registered. According to officials, hundreds of accounts have been paid up due in part to the program. The state also has other methods to enforce support payments.

There are some who question the wisdom of this particular plan as many of those who fall behind do so through lack of ability to pay, and not having access to one's vehicle could result in the parent falling further into arrears. Georgia does have a program that suspends a delinquent parent's driver license, but it does not yet have a program that denies registration renewal based on back child support. Parents who are having trouble making or receiving these monies can return to court to seek modification or enforcement orders. Additionally, those who are experiencing difficulties or have questions regarding child custody, support or related issues may consult a family law attorney for help with resolving these problems.

Source: dallasnews.com, "New program linking vehicle registration to child support sees uptick in payments", Madlin Mekelburg, Dec. 22, 2016

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