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Penalties for child support shirkers taking new forms

The problem of non-custodial parents running form or refusing outright their responsibility to pay child support funds for the children they no longer care for has become an all-too-common instance all across Texas. For those who owe, be it a paltry or sizeable sum, the threats of direct legal action, wage garnishment, and possible jail time are likely familiar. However, some areas of the country are testing out new and surprising methods of extracting payment.

One Michigan county has begun to use "boots," the car wheel locks sometimes placed on those who have improperly parked their vehicles, as a means of immobilizing a deadbeat parent and ensuring that they begin to immediately pay up. A way of both improving the rate of repayment and avoiding sending a mother or father to jail, the program has been met with great success and is already scheduled to be extended to numerous other counties.

These boots will shred a driver's tire if they attempt to move their vehicle while the device is still in place. So far, of the 35 boots that have been installed, only two cases have failed to lead to the compliant payment of child support funds. According to local authorities, over $17,000 in back child support has been extracted thanks to the program.

Some critics of the program have noted that a boot may prevent a parent from getting to and from work and is an undue invasion of privacy. However, one supporter of the measure noted that a vehicle will not be immobilized if payment begins, and steady employment shouldn't make the boot necessary in the first place.

During situations in which a parent still, despite the boot, refuses to pay up, some judges have ordered their car sold at auction and the money raised given to the parents who are owed support money.

While it's uncertain whether such a program will make its way to Dallas anytime soon, the boot program is another example of lawmakers and judges getting more creative and comprehensive with their enforcement of serious child support laws. The best way of keeping a parent adherent to their financial responsibilities is to work directly with a family law attorney.

Source: WFMY, "Parents Late With Child Support Gets Boot On Car In Michigan," Mar. 6, 2013

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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Attorney Bruce Turner is located in Dallas and represents people and businesses throughout DFW and the Metroplex, including Denton, Carrollton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Farmers Branch, Irving, Las Colinas, Corinth, Highland Village, The Colony, Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Garland and Grapevine as well as Collin County, Denton County and Dallas County in Texas.

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