Focus: Child support non-payers in one state literally get the boot

County officials of one state seeking to enforce child support obligations point with some pride to a method they say is flatly effective in generating amounts owed by tardy payers, and one that in fact has worked without a hitch well than 90 percent of the time: immobilizing the payer’s car.

Some child support advocates are likely wondering about widely applying the method employed by police officers in Ottawa County, Michigan, to states across the country, including Georgia.

In short, and when support payments are piling up and past due, simply apply a special device called a boot to a motorist’s car. If he (or she) attempts to drive, a less than optimal outcome will ensue.

“It will shred the tire,” says one police deputy.

Officials point to the sterling results obtained thus far, with one child support worker citing the many thousands of dollars collected for custodial parents. Other counties across the state are asking questions and seeking demonstrations of the boot.

In response to a stated concern that the program might make it difficult for some non-custodial parents to get to work, one support advocate noted that, if a parent has a car and is in fact working, the more legitimate concern should be focused on why that parent isn’t attending to his or her legal obligations.

This blog has in prior posts highlighted the Georgia Department of Human Services and its Division of Child Support Services, which has a number of enforcement mechanisms in place to motivate non-payers. Those include the following and additional measures: income withholding; intercepting tax refunds; suspending driver’s and professional licenses; filing liens on savings accounts and real property; and filing contempt of court actions.

An experienced Georgia family law and divorce attorney can provide additional information.

Source: WFMY News, “Parents late with child support get boot on car in Michigan,” March 6, 2013

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