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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

Child support amnesty week

Tennessee parents who reside in Hamilton County and who are delinquent on their child support payments can participate in a week-long amnesty period. The county has more than 1,200 outstanding warrants for child support, some of which were issued years ago.

The event, which will be held January 23 through 27 and is sponsored by the Hamilton County Juvenile Court's Child Support Division, is intended to get rid of outstanding warrants by allowing parents to enroll in a repayment plan. There will representatives from local nonprofit organizations and potential employers available, and the parents will be able to leave without being taken into custody.

The event will help the children for whom the payments are intended. The parents will also benefit when they no longer have to worry about being arrested on their job since their warrant will be recalled. A child support magistrate stated that she took part in a program similar to the amnesty week 11 years ago. Out of the 170 cases on her court docket at the time, 78 percent of the parents who came in that week were still making payments as much as a year later.

When a payment is made in a child support case, it goes directly to the child's custodian. If a parent refuses to pay child support, an attachment or warrant can be issued for his or her arrest. Included in the attachment is an amount a parent would need to submit to be released from jail. That amount also goes to the custodial parent. Parents who need assistance obtaining the child support payments that they are owed may want to consult a family law attorney. There are a variety of collection methods that could be available.

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