Child support amnesty offers break to payers

To allow more parents to make child support payments, officials in Marion County, Indiana, have announced an amnesty program through the end of September geared toward parents who have fallen behind on their payments, the Indianapolis Star reports.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry told the news source that his office will reach out to more than 400 parents who have fallen behind on child support payments. During the program, the state will avoid pursuing criminal and civil charges for the tardiness. Instead, the agency will help these parents figure out how to make the payments. In some cases, the office will help these residents find work.

In one instance, Eric Wilborn was jailed three times for falling behind on his child support payments after losing his job. While he tried to find work, the fact that he was still behind was haunting him because the government made it nearly impossible for him to catch up.

“Thirty days in jail three times makes it hard to keep a job,” he told the publication.

According to the Federal Citizen Information Center, some agencies turn to income withholding to ensure that child support payments are made. For parents with irregular pay, automatic billing, telephone reminders and delinquency notices are often used.