As a single parent, you have probably tried many times to get the child support you are owed by your ex. It is not uncommon for parents to avoid their child support obligations. What if a parent truly wants to help his or her children financially, but cannot do so because he or she is incarcerated?
You may not often see the words ‘child support’ and ‘jail’ in the same sentence but being in jail and owing child support is really more common that you may think. There are approximately 2.2 million people in jails and prisons across the United States. Of those, half are parents. About 20% of those have child support obligations. That amounts to more than 200,000 people.
This means that another 200,000 parents in the United States are struggling to support their children because the other parent is in jail and unable to meet his financial obligations. So, what happens in this situation? If the other parent is in jail and owes you child support, what are your options?
Child Support Obligations
The obligation to pay child support does not end when a parent is incarcerated. An incarcerated parent is still obligated to pay child support unless he or she asks the court to reduce or suspend child support payments while incarcerated. If he or she fails to do so, the result can be debt that can last a lifetime.
The custodial parent can attempt to claim child support even if the other parent is in jail. This is done through a contempt action. The incarcerated parent then has the burden to prove that he or she cannot pay child support. If it is shown that the incarcerated parent cannot pay child support, the order does not automatically end. That requires a court action on behalf of the incarcerated parent.
How Someone In Jail Can Still Have Income Or Assets
In most cases, parents who are in jail have very little income. They may be living in poverty themselves. The average income for a prisoner is 20 cents per hour. Even if the prisoner works full time, that is just $8 a week, or $32 a month. That is not enough to pay child support, which can cost hundreds of dollars a month.
However, it is possible for someone in jail to have income or assets. If the parent is older, he or she may have money saved up in a bank account. He or she may have retirement or disability income, rental income, or money from other investments.
Contact a Child Support Lawyer Today
Child support is not easy for parents to get, particularly if the payer is in jail. Prison wages are very low and not enough to support a child.
If you are a parent seeking child support from a parent in jail, you need to understand your legal options. Seek help from Brooklyn child support attorney Theodore Alatsas ESQ. He can advise you as to what you can do during this time of financial difficulty. Schedule a free consultation by calling (718) 233-2903 today.