A program currently being conducted by Magoffin County Attorney Greg Allen and his child support staff offers new opportunities for local citizens to satisfy old child support debts.
Through the Fresh Start Program, those owing child support payments to the Cabinet for Health and Family could see a reduction in their balance, according to Sheila Huff, a child support specialist with the county attorney’s office.
“It is designed to help people get out from under the burden of back child support and we’ve had success with it already,” Huff said. “The way the economy is right now, it’s a good way for those who qualify to get some help.”
Huff added that the program is above board and would not be used to trap anyone who may be facing legal challenges due to overdue payments.
“We’re not going to have someone come in and then have them arrested,” she said. “We’re trying to help them, not cause them more trouble.”
In fact, the program can also assist with legal issues.
“Entering into this program not only qualifies you for a reduction in child support arrears, but you could get your driver’s license reinstated and bench warrants lifted,” a letter being sent to potential qualifiers, says.
The program offers a reduction of between 40 and 60 percent of money owed to the state, but does not reduce the amount of payment for regular monthly child support.
Huff said the program is especially helpful to those owing the state child support, but are no longer under monthly obligations.
“In some cases where a child they were paying for has turned 18, we’ve made agreements that cleared everything up,” she said. “When they come in and make that kind of agreement we notify the judge’s office and any bench warrants they might have had are taken care of.”
Anyone interested in the Fresh Start Program can obtain additional information by calling 349-2032. Those with a last name starting with A-H should call Krista Hackworth between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., I-P should contact Sheila Huff from 1 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Q-Z can call Teresa Watson from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.