Brazil & Benske, LLC

Incarceration and child support

When it comes to jailtime and child support in Wisconsin, there are two main things to keep in mind. The first is that failure to keep up with child support payments could potentially land a person in jail. The second is that being in jail, whether for child support payment lapses or other reasons, does not exempt a person from the need to pay child support.

According to MSNBC, all 50 states have laws that may result in jailtime for men and women who do not keep up with child support payments. Many advocates have questioned whether or not this helps to recover child support payments for the children who need it. In the case of one father in South Carolina, who ran from police officers rather than face time in jail, he lost his life. Now, his children will never recover child support payments from their father for the rest of their lives.

CNN points out that child support not only adds up during jailtime, but may climb even higher after court-mandated interest. This can lead to a financial nightmare for inmates who are released from prison only to find thousands of dollars in debts on the books with their name on it. This may negatively affect their credit score, which then affects options for housing, personal transportation and employment. Sometimes inmates find themselves back in jail for failure to pay, while others may have their license suspended and passport revoked.

There are some organizations that represent the best interest of both the children and the payor. These organizations help inmates to negotiate repayment options, thus making it easier for custodial guardians to receive the child support they need to care for their children. Some inmates have recommended suspending child support payments during incarceration altogether. However, as some advocates have pointed out, children have needs whether parents are incarcerated, unemployed or in debt, and someone has to pay them.

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