Program offers amnesty to parents who owe back child support

Two-week effort targets 30,000 state residents

August 01, 2005|By Lynn Anderson | Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF

Thousands of Maryland residents who owe back child support are being encouraged to pay up as part of a two-week amnesty program offered by the state Department of Human Resources.

The amnesty program, which targets 30,000 state residents, some of whom risk arrest for failure to pay child support, begins today and will end Aug. 13. The program is also being offered in Washington and Arlington, Va., as part of a tri-jurisdictional effort to support families.

"You can imagine that Prince George's County shares a number of cases with the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia," said Brian Shea, executive director of Maryland's Child Support Enforcement Administration.

Shea said the average delinquent parent owes about $3,000, or the equivalent of nine months of child support payments.

He said the amnesty program does not apply to mothers and fathers who are in prison, although a separate program could help them get relief.

More information is available at the child support Web site, www.dhr.state.md.us., or by calling 800-332-6347.

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