Even when two parents are not in a relationship, their shared children still have needs. Typically, that means that one parent makes child support payments to the other, custodial, parent. Some Texas parents have difficulty making those payments for reasons that may be valid, such as a job loss. There are some parents who fail to make the necessary payments without any discernible reason, which can detrimentally affect a child's life. One state decided to take action by creating incentive for parents to make those payments and work with them so that their kids can get what they need.
The program is called "Back in the Driver's Seat." Many parents end up losing their driver's license due to missed child support payments. Officials wanted to see if they could work with those same parents to develop a payment plan and reinstate their licenses. A spokesperson for the Office of Child Support Enforcement said that 11,000 people in their state lost their licenses because of overdue child support. He said that parents who approach the office won't necessarily need to pay a lump sum of the unpaid amount, but could work out a payment schedule that works for all parties involved.
This is all part of the state's Child Support Awareness Month, which seeks to highlight how important these payments are and to find ways to work with parents to start making payments again. The "Driver's Seat" program is aimed at not just those who have lost their license, but may be close to doing so. When the program was run this time last year, officials were able to reinstate about 660 driver's licenses.
Whatever the reason a parent does or doesn't have for failing to make child support payments, it doesn't change how vital they are to children's development. Those parents here in Texas who struggle to make or receive their payments may want to involve an experienced family law attorney. A legal professional can help create a new or modify an existing child support agreement so that children's needs can be met.