Where Can Fathers Who Are in Arrears and Unemployed Get Help With Child Support?

Recently, the American legal system in reference to child support law is becoming increasingly complex due to the shear amount of reactionary laws concerning who pays child support, and the consequences of not paying child support. These laws are punitive. This means that they seek to punish those that are in arrears rather than obtaining support for children. This has an economic basis, but also some stereotypical and racial assumptions about those that are not paying their child support. Because of this, some groups are targeted by law enforcement and judicial entities with harsh vague laws for those that find themselves in arrears, no matter the reason.

These laws can be so confusing that often people pay child support to themselves, they pay for children that are not theirs, and they pay exorbitant fees and back pay that is inconsistent with the care that is necessary. There are no circumstances that are acceptable for being late paying your support, and the consequences are almost always jail stays. Unfortunately, this defeats the purpose of caring for children because a source of their income is jailed and rendered less able to be employed. This jeopardizes the ability to care for custodial children also that have no connection to these cases. This will be compounded by the devastation that can happen to a person’s current family situation. The exorbitant fees also render people less able to care for their children that receive child support and by consequence, the children and family that a person is caring for currently.

The punitive consequences can cause people to incur a criminal record even if they have lived a life that has totally been within the law. The stigma of a case of not paying child support can be attached to a totally innocent person and affect their ability to be employed in the future. It can also effect many in social ways that are totally undeserving. Because many think that these cases are simple, they often choose to forego seeking legal advice which only adds to problem. People have to remember that in some cases, they can potentially become criminal cases that can result in lengthy jail time, as well as, a significant reduction in one’s income. These possibilities are very real and present an almost a 100 percent chance that many, if not all, of these things will happen if a person does not have legal counsel when issues of child support occur.

It seems that the laws are purposely vague making them hard to interpret for someone without a legal background, but there are places that you can go to get help. Contact your local legal aid office where they can give you advice for free; check your local county for non-custodial parent help; or your best bet is to hire an attorney that can try to get the amount reduced or at the very least, have the interest rate reduced so the fees involved will be reduced.