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Child support programs help debtors in Texas, across U.S.

Helping non-custodial parents who are delinquent in their child support payments may seem like an unsavory proposition, but some groups are making efforts to correct unfair collection policies that victimize financially disadvantaged parents. These local events, which offer amnesty for non-paying parents, are beneficial to large groups of debtors. Still, some government agencies are trying to come down with even heavier sanctions on overdue debtors, which could cause even more problems for this vulnerable population.

Non-custodial parents, most of whom are fathers, often have a hard time paying for child support because of economic problems, incarceration or medical conditions. A new proposal from the Treasury Department is threatening to take away Social Security and veterans' benefits from people with overdue support accounts.

While some non-custodial parents simply choose not to make payments, others are just too poor to afford child support requirements. If you have overdue accounts, you could face jail time, have your driver's license revoked and suffer career consequences such as professional license suspension. Also, late child support payments can make it harder to find employment and loans, which can make it harder to reach financial solvency.

New aid programs provide food stamp programs for destitute fathers have sprung up in Texas and other states. Those groups are also providing financial education for a large portion of the people who owe overdue support, permitting them to establish payment plans while becoming financially savvy.

This federal effort is part of a continued movement to improve support for impoverished child support providers. The pilot program, called Building Assets for Fathers and Families, has been funded with $25 million through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This has been launched in seven states in an effort to improve the financial solvency of parents who owe support funds.

These programs are designed to fix child support enforcement problems that continually victimize debtors, seizing their property and setting them up for future financial issues.

Source: RH Reality Check, "Child Support Awareness Month: Why Helping 'Deadbeat Dads' Is Part of the Solution," Sheila Bapat, Aug. 29, 2012

· Our firm handles child support matters and a wide variety of other family law issues. To learn more about our practice, visit our Dallas family law website.

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