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Pennsylvania Leads the Nation in Child Support Collections

By Sheryl Rentz on August 29, 2011

According to a press release from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Pennsylvania ranks first in the United States regarding the percentage of child support collected. August is nationally designated as Child Support Enforcement Awareness Month, making this news all the more relevant.

Secretary Gary Alexander stated, “Pennsylvania is clearly out in front, making sure parents fulfill their financial obligations to their children. When parents are held accountable, it helps make certain children can thrive and develop to their fullest potential.”

Pennsylvania is the only state in the U.S. that meets or exceeds all five standards set by the federal government in determining how effective each state’s child support enforcement program is. Those five standards are the following: Read the rest »

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Allegheny County Offers Amnesty to Parents Owing Back Child Support

By Sheryl Rentz on August 24, 2011

PittsburghLive.com reports that Allegheny County is offering parents owing back child support that have warrants out for their arrest a chance at amnesty. It is the second time in four years that the county has taken such action.

According to the article, parents that have active bench warrants relating to child support cases will be able to appear in court to address the problem without being afraid they could be arrested or incarcerated. “We’re just trying to collect child support. We really don’t have an interest in putting people in jail. We want to get people on the right track,” said the deputy court administrator for the adult section of family division. Approximately 1,900 letters were sent to the last known addresses of parents that owe child support notifying them of the program. For the past four months, deputies from the sheriff’s department have also been leaving blue cards at the last known addresses of people owing back child support. The sheriff has said people have been coming forward to resolve their problems. Read the rest »

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Ohio Offers Relief to Parents Behind on Child Support

By Sheryl Rentz on August 9, 2010

The dire states of the economy and job market have led to financial hardship for many people. For parents in Ohio who are behind on their child support and unable to make payments, the Licking County Child Support Enforcement Agency is hoping that an array of options will help change that. According to a NewarkAdvocate.com article, the agency is considering arrear waivers for individuals financially unable to pay, community service programs that will help pay down amounts owed for parents who may be unemployed, and forgiveness of a certain portion of the amount of child support due for those individuals who qualify. Reportedly, because amounts owed are already paid to the parent who cares for the child, any waiver or reduction of payment would be taken as a loss by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, with no children being affected whatsoever.

While unemployment and other financial hardships are making it difficult for individuals across the country to make child support, the well being of one’s child should always be taken into account. Appropriate steps should be taken to ensure that at least a portion of an agreed upon amount of child support is paid each month. The law is very strict when it comes to enforcing child support payments in Pennsylvania. Consequently, the punishment for those who fail to make payments can be very severe. In the event that a parent refuses to make an effort to arrange for payment, an enforcement application can be filed with the court, and a variety of penalties may be imposed. Read the rest »

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Mississippi Mix Up Had Louisiana Man Paying Child Support for Someone Else’s Children

By Sheryl Rentz on August 4, 2010

When children are involved, divorce and child support go hand-in-hand. In the majority of cases, divorcing parents know that child support payments will be made; how much those payments will be worth; and how the transaction will take place – whether through wage garnishment or otherwise. However, according to a WAFB.com article, a Baton Rouge man recently discovered that his wages have been garnished for years for a pair of children whom he doesn’t know and who belong to a woman that he never met.

Reportedly, the wage garnishing had always confused the man, but he figured that the reduction being made to his check was regarding taxes or insurance or some other necessary cost. Labeled as “Discretionary Allotment” on his check, the man never questioned the charge while serving 12 years in the United States Navy. However, after taking on a job at Wal-Mart, the man noticed that the reduction reappeared on his check, but this time labeled as “Family Support, Child Support” instead of the description used previously. The Louisiana resident contacted the Division of Child Support Enforcement of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, and the matter is currently being investigated in order to correct the error. Unfortunately, according to the Department of Human Services, mistakes like this do happen every once in a while, particularly when the mother filing the paperwork only knows that father-in-question’s name, and not his social security number. Read the rest »

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New Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines

By Sheryl Rentz on June 3, 2010

Whether you are currently thinking about filing for divorce and children are involved, or are presently receiving or paying child support in Pennsylvania, you should be aware of the new PA child support guidelines that went into effect on May 12, 2010.

One of the main child support guideline changes relates to the increase of the Basic Monthly Child Support Schedule. According to a Main Line Media News report, the Basic Monthly Child Support Schedule, which is a chart that determines the basic child-support amount based on the parents’ combined monthly net incomes and number of children, has been altered at all income levels. Read the rest »

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Free Paternity Tests Aim to Help Curb Child Support Debt

By Sheryl Rentz on December 2, 2009

Mississippi has recently taken efforts to receive federal funding to help children. Based on a 2.wjtv.com report, Mississippi’s Department of Human Services is hoping that offering free paternity tests will motivate more potential fathers to take responsibility for helping support their children, if that responsibility is in fact theirs to uphold.

According to the report, the state’s main goal is to obtain more child support payments, which will ultimately assist Mississippi federal funding for the new fiscal year. Therefore, the Department of Human Services is providing DNA tests, which can amount to costs between $300 and $500. This initiative may even be something that Mississippi prolongs or that other states adopt to further help parents who can’t afford a paternity test. Read the rest »

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Philadelphia Parents Owing Child Support Offered Arrest Pardon

By Sheryl Rentz on November 18, 2009

Philadelphia family court is offering amnesty to the thousands of parents who have bench warrants for outstanding child support payments, according to a kyw1060.com report. The court’s administrative judge announced that beginning November 12 and ending on November 18 at 4pm, parents with outstanding bench warrants are free to come in without worrying about being arrested. Parents should note that they will still have to pay their child support debt.

Based on the article, the judge stated, “We will in fact withdraw your bench warrant and we will register you for a court hearing so that you can come back into the courthouse and meet your obligations.” This is definitely a break that parents owing child support may want to consider, especially since the court is working with Philadelphia fatherhood organizations to help fathers without jobs acquire employment training and find jobs. The opportunity to obtain long-term employment and benefits is a step in the right direction to ensure that parents receive the financial support they need to take care of their children. Read the rest »

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Kate Gosselin Requests Child and Spousal Support

By Sheryl Rentz on October 28, 2009

Supporting a family takes work, and subsequently, requires money. Parents may find this responsibility daunting when raising even just one child, let alone more than one. Such a task may become even more challenging after a divorce, or when eight children are involved. According to a seattlepi.com story, Kate Gosselin has submitted paperwork asking for child support in addition to temporary spousal support from her estranged husband, Jon Gosselin.

The Gosselin divorce has been at the forefront of family law discussion recently due to its many complexities. For instance, Kate’s lawyers claim that she is unable to pay bills due to John removing money from their joint bank account. Her attorneys stated, “She needs relief in light of the draining of substantial marital assets.” Apparently, Kate submitted petitions for child and spousal support last week at just about the same time she filed an emergency petition requesting to have a Pennsylvania judge order Jon to return the money that he took from the joint account. Reports say that these financial issues are scheduled to be addressed on Tuesday, October 13, 2009. Read the rest »

Economy Causing Parents to Request Child Support Reductions

By Sheryl Rentz on September 30, 2009

It’s no surprise that the current condition of our economy has had drastic financial influences on a variety of aspects of many people’s lives, and, unfortunately, the lives of our children as well. When custodial and noncustodial parents’ employment becomes unstable and in some cases nonexistent, child support payments go unpaid and children suffer the consequences. According to an article, in one man’s situation, he used to have no trouble paying his $433 monthly child support; however after going unemployed and unable to get another job, the man moved in with his parents, who, in addition to offering him a place to stay, are now paying the man’s child support payments as well. This father attempted to receive a court-approved reduction in his child support payments, but his efforts were unsuccessful.

The report reasons that men are being hit harder financially than women are in this tough economy, with the 9.8 percent of men unemployed as opposed to only 7.5 percent of women. In addition, it is typically dads who are caught in the nightmare of not meeting the needs of their child support payments because men often assume the role of the noncustodial parent. Before the economic downturn, many of these noncustodial fathers were able to pay; however, with their incomes decreasing, they are no longer able to make child support payments that were previously based on higher past wages. Read the rest »

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Former MLB Star Gets Probation for Skipping Child Support Payments

By Sheryl Rentz on August 12, 2009

Former Major League Baseball star, Troy Neel, has been sentenced to five years of probation for failing to pay more than $700,000 in child support – the worst deadbeat record in Texas history. According to this Associated Press news report, a federal judge in San Antonio, Texas, sentenced the former Oakland Athletics first baseman, who could have received a maximum penalty of two years in prison. The judge spared him the prison sentence only because he would not have been able to pay child support while incarcerated. Neel was ordered to pay $779,000 in restitution. The 43-year-old Neel apparently lived in a South Pacific island resort when the $5,000 monthly payments for his two children went unpaid.

Child support payments have their purpose, but more importantly they are a significant part of a divorce agreement where one parent promises to pay the other monthly to support their children. Failure to pay child support in Pennsylvania can result in serious consequences including jail or prison time, suspension of passport or driver’s licenses, freezing of bank accounts and assets, as well as garnishing paychecks. Read the rest »

Posted in: Child Support

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Montgomery County Divorce Attorney Disclaimer: The divorce, visitation, child support, child custody, spousal support, or other family law legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact an attorney at our law firm office. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Pennsylvania.

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