Payment of child support is not optional. The courts take child support obligations very seriously and want people to know that they need to satisfy their obligations when it comes to paying child support. At times, when people are delinquent in paying child support, the courts will use incarceration as a way to get people to pay because most people don’t want to go to jail. There are other options available to encourage payment, as one Michigan community is demonstrating.
In Genesee County, Michigan, there is a program aimed at encouraging people to make their child support payments. This program helps people with getting a plan together so that they can pay their child support. The people who participate in the program are given amnesty from outstanding Friend of the Court warrants and will not face jail time if they attend the program.
Child support is court ordered. Failure to follow a court order results in contempt and is punishable by law. As mentioned previously, the punishment can include incarceration. However, the court is not automatically looking to put people in jail if payments are missed. If circumstances change for the individual that is to pay child support, the court will take this into account and make modifications where necessary. Loss of a job or other loss of income can be grounds for a modification. Child support modifications are fairly common because people’s financial situations do change. But it is important to be proactive and petition the court for a modification before delinquent payments become too substantial.
Source: M Live, “Genesee County child support program offers no-arrest promise and information,” Ron Fonger, March 23, 2013