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Help for those with child support problems

Not paying child support has serious consequences. For example, in Virginia a driver's license can be suspended for non-payment of child support. For parents with jobs, suspension of a driver's license can make the struggle to pay child support even greater as that parent's employment may be at risk due to license suspension. This very conundrum has caused one state to take action to help those who have lost a license due to non-payment of support.

The new law essentially allows for those noncustodial parents to apply for what is called a restricted license. If the parent can provide documentation of employment for 30 hours a week and that job is more than a mile from home, a restricted license can allow for that parent to continue working. There is a fee for the restricted license, however.

Steady employment has long been a determining factor as to whether or not a parent can pay support. When the consequence for not paying makes maintaining employment even more of a challenge, the ability to pay becomes even more difficult. Lawmakers hope the law benefits those who really need it, and they stress the parent must continue to pay support while taking advantage of the restricted license program. Failure to pay can lead to the revocation of the restricted license.

Nonpayment of child support is a problem in Virginia and every other state as well. With more options available to help parents who fall behind and the parents who are trying to garner much-needed support, the problem may be lessened over time. When parents can foresee a struggle to earn and pay an ordered amount, options such as a modification of an order can help parents avoid any of the consequences related to nonpayment of support.

Source: herald-citizen.com, "New law could help parents paying child support maintain licenses", Tracey Hackett, Aug. 31, 2015

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