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One county finds novel way to get back child support paid

Parents in Texas who are owed back child support often wish there was a quick and painless -- at least for them -- way to collect what they are owed. Unfortunately for many single-parent caregivers, those parents who are chronically late with child support payments often do their best to avoid paying, often taking evasive action to try to stay one step ahead of collection efforts.

One county in Michigan is garnering kudos for its program that puts a stop to evasive deadbeat parents -- quite literally, in fact. Officials in Ottawa County, Michigan, have found a way to get these parents to pay up by putting a "boot" on their car. The boot, which is a device placed on a car's wheel that renders a vehicle inoperable, is removed when the delinquent parent makes a payment.

The program is new but it seems to be working. So far out of the 35 cars that have been targeted, only two cases have not been resolved. County officials say that people who don't pay what they owe could have their cars impounded and auctioned off, with the proceeds of the sale going to the parent who is owed the money.

Some people have suggested that the program is unfair to parents who need their cars to get to work. However, as one of the county officials points out, if the delinquent parents have jobs but aren't paying their required child support, that could represent a problem that officials would want to address.

Source: Gannett News Service, "Parents late with child support gets boot on car in Michigan," March 6, 2013

  • Our Dallas law firm handles divorce and other family law matters for Texas residents. To learn more about our practice, visit our Dallas child support page.

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