Times are tough, with financial stresses having a discernible impact on the ability of many people to handle their child support obligations.
This is true in Georgia, and it is also true in South Carolina, where a new program to target select parents with outstanding child support payments has caught the eye of Georgia authorities considering its implementation in counties across the state.
The program is currently in effect in Aiken County, where an overburdened court system has been able to knock 2,000 warrants off its books over the past two years by choosing with precision which warrants for outstanding child support payments to escalate and process as a priority. In Aiken County, that means designating fathers owing more than $20,000 in payments and mothers with support obligations that owe more than $15,000 as “deadbeats” that go to the top of the list. More than 40 fathers and 10 mothers are on the most recent list, compiled in August. Six of them have come forward recently to settle their cases.
Georgia’s Division of Child and Social Services has been watching the program with interest, with deputy director Renorta Heard stating that Aiken County’s system is simpler than anything that is being done with “most wanted lists” in Georgia.
“In the last few months we have taken note of the process in Aiken County and are currently doing some research for possible implementation,” she said. “But we want to make sure it’s something we can do statewide and not just in isolated counties.”
There are currently several thousand outstanding child support cases in counties across Georgia.