After collecting more than $35,000 in delinquent child support, Hamilton County Job and Family Services will extend amnesty through the month of September to parents whose driver’s licenses have been suspended for not paying child support.
The initial plan to provide amnesty during August, Child Support Awareness Month, has been extended to give more delinquent parents the opportunity to take advantage. So far, 111 parents have had their license reinstated, resulting in the agency collecting $35,032 in support for children.
“That is the end goal – getting that child the financial support they need,” said Moira Weir, director of Hamilton County JFS. “If a parent comes in pays a portion of their delinquent support and signs an agreement to pay in the future – including providing an employer so we can garnish wages – then we are assured of getting some support for some period of time.”
Delinquent parents who want to take advantage of this offer can have their driver’s license or professional license reinstated by paying one month of their total child support obligation and reporting their employment so their wages can be garnished. All parents will sign a license-reinstatement agreement committing them to staying on track with child support payments.
State law grants the agency the authority to suspend the licenses of delinquent parents when support has not been fully paid for 90 days. This is usually a last resort after many attempts to get the parent to cooperate on paying the support.
The Department’s Child Support Enforcement Agency handles about 85,000 cases a year involving more than 250,000 county residents. Last year, it collected $129 million for families that might not otherwise have had the financial support necessary to pay for such items as food, medical care, child care, school clothes and school supplies. Many of the children without child support turn to public assistance, with taxpayers providing financial support.
Hamilton County Child Support uses a variety of tools to collect child support, including intercepting tax returns, denying passports, freezing and seizing funds from bank accounts, and suspending drivers’ and professional licenses.