Parental Accountability Court program helps parents behind on child support

Andrew found himself in court. His income had decreased because of a job change and he had fallen behind on his child support payments, leading to his driver’s license getting suspended. Then he heard about the Parental Accountability Court (PAC) program from the DHS Division of Child Support Services.

“It was kind of like a fairytale,” Andrew said.

He joined the program and was quickly able to get his driver’s license reinstated.

“Reinstating my license, that was huge, that was a game changer. If you can’t drive, you can’t get to work and you also can’t go see your kids. That was critical,” he said.

The PAC program also helped break up Andrew’s child support obligations into manageable payments and he’s now paid off his arrears balance in full and is set to graduate from the program this fall.

With help from the program, Andrew was also able to continue to build up his construction business.

“The program allowed that to happen. They gave me the opportunity to get my license back and keep working and that’s all I needed, but the program does so much more than that,” he said.

The PAC program can also help noncustodial parents with substance abuse treatment, job assistance and placement, short-term training, coaching and mentoring, educational services and Georgia Work Ready as an alternative to incarceration. The goal is to help noncustodial parents attain the income-level they need to provide for themselves and their children and remove the barriers in their lives that have led to them falling behind on their child support obligations.

“They offer so many services. It’s a great program,” Andrew said. “More people need to know about it.”

Andrew advises other noncustodial parents to “never give up” when it comes to keeping up with their child support obligations.

“Your children are, I hope, the most important people in your life. Take advantage of every opportunity that this program provides for you,” he said.

Click here to learn more about the PAC program.