Orange County, California, residents are aware of how significant child support is in the child's life. The payment not only helps with the everyday expenses of the child but it also funds educational and health care costs. To further underline its importance, the California Department of Child Support Services has decided to make the month of August Child Support Awareness Month.
In commemoration, the department is recognizing 51 statewide child support agencies, including the courts that provide the necessary services to assist in getting children much-needed finances.
So far, the department, together with child support agencies, has collected a total of $2.3 billion in the fiscal year ending September 2012. The collection is a $48 million increase over the previous fiscal year. From the total amount, $1.8 billion was distributed to families. The remaining amount went to federal and state governments for foster care expenses and public assistance.
As part of the commemoration, the interim director of the department is also recognizing the efforts of parents who are facing challenges in making child support payments. These include underemployment or loss of employment, resolving health expenses after getting sick or re-entry into the community after incarceration. In an effort to assist parents having trouble with payments, one county has formed a team to assess and assist non-custodial parents to get their accounts back to good standing. So far, the effort has resulted in a 32 percent success rate.
An Orange County parent struggling with payments can also take this route. Another option is to seek the guidance of a legal professional to file for child support modification. This legal option can help iron out a mutually beneficial way to make payments without compromising the financial security of the child and without impacting the parent's ability to pay as well.
Source: Sierra Star "August is child support awareness month in California," Brian Wilkinson, Aug. 6, 2013