Around one in five fathers among the roughly 1.1 million fathers in prison around the country are obligated to make child support payments, but this is challenging since federal inmates make between $.23 and $1.15 per hour. Texas residents might like to know about regulations proposed by the Obama administration that could allow fathers who are in prison to stop making child support payments while incarcerated.
Fathers incurring high debt while in prison due to child support could classify their time in prison as "involuntary" to pause their support payments. This plan will not go into effect until 2017 and may change things in the 14 states that do not have payment reductions for child support available as a legal right. Some think this could help fathers avoid debt and being sent back to jail for not making child support payments.
Worries do exist concerning single mothers who need child support payments as they may not be able to get welfare, but payments made by a former inmate might not even go to the mother of a child if the father has to pay the government late fines. Only 6.8 percent of overdue child support payments were paid in 2014 while the overdue amount totaled $112.5 billion. There has been talk of blocking these regulations but no official action has been taken yet.
A parent may need to talk an attorney when struggling with paying or getting child support. While a parent is supposed to follow a court order dictating the payment of child support, there is generally some leniency given if one is truly unable to pay. Jail is a possible option for those failing to pay child support, but other enforcement options might be used first as making payments would most likely be harder while incarcerated.