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Texas child support enforcement system among most effective

Over the last year the state of Texas has helped parents collect almost $3 billion in back child support payments. The approach Texas takes in the collection of back child support is among the best in the country, and the success may be related to the Non-Custodial Parent Choices program.

The Non-Custodial Parent Choices program offers parents who have fallen behind on their child support payments the choice to pay, get job training or go to jail. Many who participate in the program choose to get job training and statistics on the program show that parents are able to start and continue to pay child support after the completion of their job training. Another major part of the success of the program is that 66 percent of payments come from employers withholding income from workers' paychecks.

One success story about the program comes from a back child support case from one year ago. The judge who oversaw the case said it will always stick with him. The mother who was in front of the judge explained that if she could open a tattoo parlor in her garage that she would be able to pay her back child support.

The judge disagreed with the potential success of the young mother's business idea and instead she was enrolled in the Non-Custodial Parent Choices program. During her participation in the program she learned how to be a welder. The mother currently works as a welder for a crane manufacturing plant and earns $26 per hour. Commenting on the case the judge said, "She had been chronically unemployed and had never really been taught how to get a job." Over 10,000 parents have completed the program and the majority have learned skills to help themselves and their children.

Source: texasinsider.org, "Texas saves big money through effective child support enforcement," Pamela M. Prah. September, 26, 2011

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