For many and obvious reasons, child support can be a preeminent and enduring concern for an involved parent. We note on our website at the Arkansas family law firm of Robertson, Oswalt, Nony & Associates that support-related matters “can seem tumultuous.”

Payees often think that a court-mandated order is unfair and that the monthly support check doesn’t come close to what is required to cover basic expenses. Persons receiving support also frequently complain that payments are late and/or only inconsistently made.

Payees often think that a court-mandated order is unfair and that the monthly support check doesn’t come close to what is required to cover basic expenses. Persons receiving support also frequently complain that payments are late and/or only inconsistently made.

Payers, conversely, are on the other side of that coin. Some of them are indeed the “deadbeats” sometimes adversely portrayed in media stories, but legions of them are also good-faith parents simply struggling with demands they find impossible to meet.

A recent national media report spotlights that latter group, noting the high number of parents in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere across the country who, while striving to meet their payment obligations, continue to fall short.

The Washington Post points to the nearly 40 percent of all obligors in the nation’s capital who are delinquent in their payments, but also underscores a broad challenge posed to payers all across the country. Reportedly, past-due child support payments exceeded a stunning $113 billion nationally in 2013.

Simply taking a hard-line enforcement stance, coupled with stringent penalties, is not the uniform answer for solving non-payment issues, notes the Post. In fact, it compounds the problem in many cases.

What D.C. authorities are now seeking to do is get more payers back on track through an amnesty program that can undo existing fines, penalties and other exactions in exchange for a firm commitment to responsibly address debt duties. A central component of that initiative is its referral platform, which offers services to payers ranging from drug rehabilitation programs to job-placement services.

Many people across the country — including in Arkansas — are truly challenged by debt obligations that they want to meet but are unable to.

In many instances, it makes great sense for overly burdened payers to petition for the modification of an existing court order. An experienced family law attorney can help with that.