While the University of Kentucky may have fallen just short of a National Championship during last month’s NCAA basketball tournament, one Kentucky county is celebrating a big success from its latest campaign to collect child support payments.
Hopkins County ran a “March Mania” campaign during the NCAA Tournament in which they teamed up with a local pizza companies to spread the word about community members who owed child support payments. Fliers featuring the county’s “most wanted” child support offenders were attached to pizza boxes from Godfather’s Pizza, Rocksan’s Pizza, Quality Pizza and Hobo Mickey’s Pizza.
Child support payments were roughly $350,000 in the months of January and February, but that number jumped to $370,000 in March. Project coordinators called the program a “slam dunk.”
Family Law Attorney Katie Lammers comments
I have never heard of a program like this in Minnesota but it certainly seems effective. In Minnesota there are multiple enforcement techniques to try to ensure that child support is paid from the obligor to the obligee in a consistent and timely manner. Such techniques include:
- Credit bureau reporting
- Federal criminal prosecution
- Federal tax refund offset
- Financial institution data match
- Income withholding
- Passport denial
- State tax refund offset
- Student grant holds
- Suspension of licenses (e.g. driver’s, occupational, recreational)
In some cases, if the court finds that a person has the ability to pay his or her support and has not paid the full amount, they may be held in contempt. A court has the power to jail someone for failing to meet the purge conditions set out by the court. Purge conditions are the requirements the court has determined an obligor can pay or meet to satisfy the order and stay out of jail. In Minnesota there are attorneys and self-help clinics to help people address child support arrearages – for both the payer and the payee.