Illinois parents: Does booting a car for unpaid child support work?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Support on Thursday, March 7, 2013.

There are plenty of Illinois parents who wind up in jail over not paying their child support. However, this system is sometimes criticized as being incarcerated makes it even harder for a parent to remain employed and be able to pay back what is owed.

Recently, one county started to take a new approach to unpaid child support. Instead of making an arrest and brining the parent to jail, a special device known as a boot is placed on the parent’s car. This device makes it impossible for the parent to drive without shredding their tire.

In order to get the boot off of their vehicle, the parent needs to address their bench warrant for unpaid child support.

So far, 35 vehicles have gotten the boot. In all but two cases, this has resulted in the unpaid child support being resolved. In total, more than $17,000 in unpaid child support has been collected.

One deputy shared his personal experience of putting the boot on parents’ vehicles. He said, for the most part, as he is approaching a person’s home, the parent will come out and agree to take care of the bench warrant instead of having to deal with the boot on their vehicle.

Of course, there is concern that putting this boot on a parent’s vehicle will stop them from being able to go to work and earn money to pay what is owed. But, the director of the friend of the court department is quick to point out that if a parent is employed, but still not paying child support, this alone brings up concerns.

At this point, due to the fact that the booting program seems to be working, other counties in the state are interested in learning more. Granted, this program is run out of Ottawa County, Michigan, but one has to wonder if this type of program will eventually make its way into Illinois.

As in Illinois parent, what do you think? Is this type of booting program a good idea here in this state? Would this be more effective than jail time for unpaid child support?

Source: Digtriad, “Parents late with child support gets boot on car in Michigan,” March 6, 2013

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