July 2020 | Vicki Turetsky, Maureen R. Waller

Piling on Debt: The Intersections Between Child Support Arrears and Legal Financial Obligations

This article examines the whys and hows of child support arrears as an unmanageable debt. It takes a special look at the child support arrears that accumulate during a parent’s incarceration. The article identifies several factors that contribute to the build-up of arrears including support orders that the parent can’t reasonably pay and enforcement measures that inhibit a parent’s ability to find a job such as driver’s license suspension. The authors make recommendations for policies that will lead to consistent child support payments, employed parents, and better family relationships.

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