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Georgia child support: A deadline tomorrow is indeed material

Views across a wide spectrum are being expressed regarding a state mandate that is scheduled to kick in from tomorrow and potentially affect scores of thousands of people.

One thing is certain: Those affected aren't going to be happy.

Georgia authorities, like their regulatory peers in other states, are routinely concerned with the outstanding obligations of residents legally tasked with making child support payments.

Many of those people routinely comply with the exactions.

Some, of course, don't, with the reasons for not doing so ranging widely. Some parents are unemployed or underemployed. Others have fallen into debt and are pursued by multiple creditors. Still others may be having difficulties stemming from health issues, mental incapacity or a host of other matters.

And then there are those the state regards as "deadbeats," meaning those persons who have a protracted history of recurrent payment avoidance, regardless of any justification or lack thereof. According to a recent media report on delinquent payers of child support, there are approximately 56,000 deadbeat nonpayers in Georgia.

State authorities are about to play hard ball with those persons, owing to a new arrangement between the Georgia Department of Human Services and the state's Department of Driver Services.

To wit: Reportedly, excessively delinquent payers who do not imminently contact the state's Division of Child Support Services will have their right to drive taken away.

The division's director, Tanguler Johnson, says that recalcitrant payers need to step forward with payments or an explanation of the circumstances precluding payment without delay. For those who don't, she says, August 20 will loom large, as the day that "your driver's license will be suspended."

It is certainly arguable whether such enforcement will be effective. Advocates can point to the mere threat as being a strong catalyst for performance. On the other hand, critics can duly note that license suspension can preclude some persons from getting to their jobs and earning money that is earmarked for child support.

We will keep readers duly informed of any material details that emerge regarding this story.

Source: News One, "Georgia gets tough! Don't pay your child support, lose driver's license," Ruth Manuel-Logan, Aug. 8, 2014

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