December 17, 2018

Are Parental Accountability Courts a Reasonable Alternative to Jail for Delinquent Child Support Payers?

solutions to child support delinquency problemThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran an interesting article about parent accountability courts now being set up in a number of Georgia counties.   The Atlanta paper describes these courts as follows:

Parental accountability courts are run by representatives from the state’s Child Support Services division. These coordinators work with the parents, serving as a mentor and directing them to existing community resources. Each court is tailored to its particular county’s need. The coordinators may be called upon to help the unemployed prepare resumes or prep for a job interview. They might refer people to drug rehabilitation programs or other support services. Once those problems are addressed and the person is established in a job, it is up to the individual to make sure the child support is paid or the court has the option to garnishee wages.

As I understand the concept, state child support enforcement offices and county jails argue that incarceration does not solve the problem of delinquent child support payments, especially when jobs are scarce anyway and an unemployed dad with a prison record is even more unlikely to find a job.

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