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New rules for making child support payments in prison

As Barack Obama nears the end of his presidency, his administration intends to spearhead another effort to reform the criminal justice system. The potentially new regulation changes would help eliminate the policies that leave ex-inmates with substantial debt by allowing prisoners to make child support modifications. For many inmates in Texas and across the country, child support payments are a major burden.

A 2010 survey conducted by the Obama administration reported that 51,000 prisoners in federal facilities had to pay child support. Nearly 29,000 of those prisoners were not current with their payments and owed an average of almost $24,000.

The impending legislation has been met with resistance from Republicans, some of whom state that the changes would allow parents to disregard their financial duties to their children. In an attempt to stop the initiative, a Republican-sponsored bill was introduced. However, the bill lacked the support to become law.

While some expected Democrats and Republicans to work together regarding criminal justice reform issues in 2016, there has been no legislative progress. According to a White House official, the administration was obligated to move on its own to do what it could within its authority.

Child support enforcement programs are operated at the state level, and many states have changed their laws so that prisoners can modify their child support payments. However, there are 14 states that disallow any payment modifications or make it difficult to receive one.

One of the many issues of a divorce that must be resolved is child support. An attorney who practices family law may advise a client of the state laws regarding how payment amounts are calculated. Any difficulties with making payments may be addressed in court.

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