Denver Custody Lawyer Applauds New Approach to Collecting Child Support
Denver, CO (Law Firm Newswire) October 18, 2012 - Courts in all fifty states can find it difficult to collect delinquent child support payments from a noncustodial parent.
In attempting to collect, they try everything from instituting tougher penalties to the revocation of professional certifications. They even, in some cases, impose jail time. But the Maryland court system is attempting a new approach.
"Maryland is to be applauded for the way it has approached the very real issue of noncompliance when it comes to child support payments," said Denver child custody lawyer Bill Thode. "It may be that other states, Colorado included, should consider looking to their system and see how it might apply to our own courts."
State officials started by sorting out the non-paying parents into two camps – those who could not pay for hardship reasons, and those who refused to pay, but had the necessary funds to do so. Red flags which indicated willingness, but inability to pay, typically included a sudden stop of previously steady payments due to illness, financial emergency or eviction, among other things.
Officials then approached each parent based on their circumstances to work out a plan. Social workers offered job training, job search assistance, counseling and other support to help each parent through the crisis period, focused on ways that would help the noncustodial parent, the custodial parent and the child or children.
The approach worked. Maryland has increased the amount of child support payments collected in the past year by 4.8 percent, which adds up to more than $20 million additional monies compared to last year. By late July, the state had distributed more than $350 million in child support payments.
In the cases where parents simply did not want to pay, officials reported that just the threat of suspending the nonpayer's professional certification was often enough to get payments restarted, without needing to enforce jail time.
Determining and collecting child support payments can be difficult, and each child custody case is a unique one. Depending on employment and other circumstances, support payments may be calculated differently. Parties involved in a child custody payment dispute are advised to work with an experienced Denver divorce and custody lawyer for legal advice.
Thode Law Firm, P.C.
201 Steele Street, Suite 201
Denver, CO 80206
Call: (303) 330-0425
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