Child support should be treated as civil matter

2013-09-24T00:00:00Z Child support should be treated as civil matter nwitimes.com
September 24, 2013 12:00 am

I was told there are no debtor's prisons, but yet a person unable to pay child support, for whatever reason, is put in jail at the taxpayer's expense.

Child support and custody are civil matters for the court. Child support is taking up valuable time, money and space needed by law enforcement for serious criminal matters.

The courts can garnish a wage -- if a person is employed and able to pay.

The idea of child support to save taxpayers money from welfare expenses is good in theory, but not a good practice in the manner in which it now applies.

Debt is a civil matter for the courts. Debt is not a criminal offense punishable by incarceration. Child support is a debt, not a crime.

The same laws and practices that apply to small claims court should apply to child support.

Divorce and child custody are, for the most part, a nasty, uncivil affair. A father living in the house, and unable to earn a wage at the time, isn't placed in prison. The family gets by the best way they can. The father isn't expected to, nor could he, make up for lost wages and time.

- Barry L. Emigh, Merrillville

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