Singleton Smith Law Offices Articles Awareness Grows For Prison Child Support

Awareness Grows For Prison Child Support

By Singleton Smith Law Offices  May. 4, 2011 1:26p

Lawmakers Concerned Over Inmate Child Support Debt

Connecticut has begun to take steps to help prison inmates make their child support payments while incarcerated.

Awareness of the issue of imprisoned parents being saddled with huge child support debt has been growing in recent years. A study in 2007 showed that a whopping 38 percent of the states 74,000 child support cases involved a parent who was either currently in state custody or had served time in a jail or prison.

A large number of prisoners, mostly fathers, have children under the age of 18, and a huge fraction of those are currently under court order to make child support payments. In most states, however, serving time in prison is not considered a break from the necessity to pay, despite the inmate’s inability to perform a steady job. Thus, inmates accrue child support debt over the course of their sentences that they have a difficult time paying back once they are released.

States Argue Over Necessity of Laws

The proponents of these harsh measures say that they are designed to help ensure that parents are not rewarded for committing crimes by being allowed to skip out on their payments. They also claim that children are being protected, ensuring that they are not penalized by their father or mother’s mistake.

Supporters of Connecticut’s new program, however, say that allowing debt to accumulate is actually harmful to the child. Connecticut has offered information to inmates teaching them how to amend their child-support payment policies while incarcerated in order to avoid this debt spiral.

A supporter of the new measure, Roland Warren, president of the Maryland-based National Fatherhood Initiative, argues that by forcing parents to build up debt, the prison system actually encourages fathers not to pay when they are released, and to avoid seeing their children altogether, saying ”the hill just looks too big”.

A Family Lawyer in Your Corner

If you have recently separated from you spouse and need assistance from a Murieta divorce attorney, seek the services of the legal professionals at Singleton Smith Law Offices. Our family law attorneys deal with clients throughout California, handling cases in the areas of divorce settlements, custody disputes, and child support payment plans, among other aspects of family law. Let us help you.

Contact a Murieta child support lawyer today!

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