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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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