64
      Thursday
      70 / 51
      Friday
      75 / 51
      Saturday
      80 / 57

      Child support amnesty program gives offenders chance to catch up

      C heboygan County has launched an amnesty program to help get child support offenders back on track with their payments.


      M

      ore than 80 arrest warrants for unpaid child support could be wiped from the books in one northern
      Michigan county.


      C

      heboygan
      County has launched an amnesty program to help get child support offenders back on track with their payments.


      "T

      here are some people that owe a few hundred that they haven't paid and there are some that owe several thousand dollars

      ," Kevin Weller, Cheboygan County Friend of the Court said.


      T

      he
      Friend of the Court for the County is offering an amnesty program.


      O

      ffenders can come to their office and make a payment of
      one percent of what they owe or $250. In return the warrant will be lifted and they stay out of jail.


      "B

      y bringing them in and having the face

      -

      to

      -

      face contact

      ,

      we find that it leads to more positive things for them and also the families

      ," Weller said.


      D

      uring the meeting

      ,

      this office will also set up a plan for future payments.


      "I

      t really is about money for the children and not about arresting parents and encourage them to find employment

      ,

      whatever employment they can and make whatever payments they can, and not hide in the shadows

      ," Stephen Lindsay, Cheboygan Attorney said.


      C

      ounty leaders hope this step will put money back into the kids hands and lift the burden on the legal system.

      F

      reeing up thousands of dollars in legal fees usually used to try offenders.


      "W

      e have actually been successful with
      a few individuals who enter into a payment agreement and get rid of their bench warrant and try to get them back on track," Weller said.


      A

      nd if this program is successful, many bel

      ie

      ve it could be adopted by other counties up north.


      "I

      think if we have a positive experience here in
      Cheboygan County they would be very inclined to try the program themselves," Lindsay said.


      T

      he program lasts until
      April 11th.

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