New Jersey Offering Child Support Amnesty Week
Here’s some good news for divorced dads living in New Jersey! If you are behind on child support payments and facing possible jail time, it’s Child Support Amnesty week!
The week-long program allows parents who are behind on child support payments to go in to their local probation office and try to either make a payment, or come up with a payment plan that is feasible. Those who are able to do one of the two will have their arrest warrant dropped.
Even if you aren’t able to come up with a payment plan, you will be allowed to leave the premises without being arrested.
But what’s the reason behind the amnesty?
According to Camden County freeholder Scot McCray, 400,000 children in New Jersey rely on child support, and almost 60 percent of those parents paying child support are behind on payments. Since so many children rely on child support, the state wants to offer an opportunity for redemption for those many parents who struggle to make payments.
The idea of Child Support Amnesty weeks is not a new idea. New Jersey last had one in 2004, but other places have participated also. In 2009, Hamilton County in Ohio also offered amnesty.
New Jersey’s initiative agrees with the core of the men’s rights movement. Too often, divorced men are valued only for their money. Courts and judges think of them in terms of numbers, not as a father and parent.
Amnesty Week gives many parents, and often fathers, an opportunity to redeem themselves, and a fresh start to begin fulfilling the court ordered amount of child support so they don’t feel burdened by the amount of money they must pay.
What the initiative lacks, however, is a real solution to the problem. It is likely true that some fathers truly have the money, and don’t pay. But, many also simply don’t have the money.
If parents don’t have the money, then it is very difficult to simply come up with a reasonable payment plan. Making the situation worse, these fathers also don’t have the resources to request a modification in child support. Doing so requires a lawyer, and lawyers cost money.
While the initiative is promising and helpful to parents who are overwhelmed in the face of mounting child support payments, it doesn’t solve the root of the problem; it doesn’t solve for excessive child support orders.