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Child support liens could lessen settlement payments

Every day, people commit crimes and are arrested and jailed when caught. While in jail, financial obligations such as child support payments are not waived in many states; the incarcerated person is still responsible for making those payments. If someone is unjustly jailed, knowing that their financial responsibilities are not being met adds to the stress of proving his or her innocence.

Our Fort Collins readers might be interested to know that for 88 wrongly incarcerated people in another state, justice has been served. According to a recent report, the individuals were arrested and detained for crimes they did not commit; they were victims of corrupt police officers. These individuals sued the city, and the city offered a settlement.

However, many of the individuals might get less than they were awarded. Because these people were in jail, some for more than a year, their child support obligations have remained unpaid, and the child support office is demanding that back child support be paid before these people receive any of their settlement money. It is unknown how much the people involved owe in child support, or how much each will receive from the settlement. However, state agencies are requesting they receive payment for back child support and reimbursement for any public assistance families might have received.

Meeting the financial needs of children is the responsibility of both parents. Failure to pay child support can result in stiff penalties, even if the reason for nonpayment is out of the control of the delinquent parent. Any parent who is falling behind on payments should learn about any available options to take if they cannot afford their payments, such as requesting a modification.

Source: philly.com, "Child-support liens may delay payouts in $3.5M Camden settlement," Barbara Boyer, Feb. 15, 2013

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