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Unpaid child support may attract new consequences

People in Spokane, Washington, may know that some people refuse to pay child support or may not have the finances to make child support payments on time. Some parents state that they are unable to make child support payments due to unemployment, but many who don't pay support do have jobs. In Washington State, if the person does not pay child support, he or she may be arrested. However, new consequences have been proposed in Oklahoma for parents who do not pay child support on time.

A bill was passed in the last session of that state's legislature that stated that parents who do not make child support payments will have to serve two weeks of community service. This will enable the parents to find a new job and pay back child support. Parents who have been ordered to make child support payments but who have not paid are sometimes referred to as "deadbeat."

The bill is expected to motivate parents to get back into the work force. The bill may also promote and ensure stronger families. According to the bill, the parent will have to report to duty just like any other job. The person may have to work with road crews, help clean graffiti and clean up bar ditches. The person may have to do community service, including picking up trash and debris from various locations. This may be a more constructive punishment for the parents and may be more profitable than putting the person in jail and spending the taxpayers' money. However, community service does not pay the child support. The person will still have to find a job and make the payments.

In Washington State, many parents are advised to modify child support payments to ensure that the payments are made on time. Modifications of child support can be requested by the payor if the person is unemployed or if the person's circumstances change considerably. They may also be requested by the payee on behalf of the child in the case of changed circumstances on that side. Modification of child support may ensure that the parent is able to make the payments on time and the child's upbringing is not affected due to late payments, and that the child is being adequately provided for.

Source: News Channel 4, "'Deadbeat parents' to see new punishment," Ashley Kringen, Oct. 30, 2013

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