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State program helping non-custodial parents to pay child support

For many single parents in Montgomery, Tennessee, money received from former spouses or partners form the backbone of the financial well-being for a child. While many non-custodial parents are regular with their child support payments, the number of defaulters is also significant.

An innovative program in Texas is helping low-income parents earn more money in order to pay off their child support debts. The Non-Custodial Parent Choices Program puts such parents through an on-the-job training program before graduation after a six month period. The program is run by the Attorney General's Office and the Texas Workforce Commission. As a practice, the Attorney General's Office refers parents who default on child support payments to the Texas Workforce Commission.

Since the launch of the program in 2005, more than 1,300 parents have found permanent jobs through the NCP Choices program. According to Workforce Solutions, 71 percent of the parents who complete the program get hired in permanent jobs. This initiative has resulted in the collection of $8.6 million in child support. In addition, parents who had long faced issues with visitation rights and parenting time now get to spend an ample amount of time with their children.

Failure to pay child support is considered a serious offense in Tennessee and an offender may face criminal charges. However, in cases of financial strain on a non-custodial parent, it is also possible to modify the existing child support orders. Child support is a complex area of family law. Accordingly, seeking the advice of an attorney may prove to be extremely helpful. Both custodial parents who are not receiving timely child support payments, and non-custodial parents who wish to modify child support should research their legal options.

Source: KFOX14, "State program recovers $8.6 million in child support in El Paso," Crystal Price, Jan. 28, 2014

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