Richland County Domestic Relations Court is holding a Bench Warrant Amnesty Day and Job Fair from 9 am to 3 pm on Tuesday.
The event will be held on Level L1 of the county courthouse, 50 Park Avenue East. No pre-registration is required.
Parents who have a bench warrant for child support out of the Richland County Domestic Relations Court simply need to appear at the event to have their warrant recalled. This event will be in an arrest-free zone.
The job fair is open to anyone in the community who needs help finding a job. Individuals do not need to have an active child support case to participate. Representatives from area employers and staffing agencies will be present to assist people in finding employment.
Chief Magistrate Kirsten Pscholka-Gartner organized the event to reduce the number of bench warrants on the court’s child support enforcement docket.
Pandemic led to many late child support payments
“During the pandemic, many parents fell behind on their child support payments and missed court hearings, resulting in the issuance of a bench warrant,” she said in a news release. “This is an opportunity for those individuals to appear before the court without the possibility of arrest and jail time so they can get back on track.”
The goal of the event is to remove bench warrants, which may prevent that person from seeking work, and to help those who need jobs obtain employment so they can start paying their child support.
Parents who appear for the event may also have their driver’s license reinstated if they have a child support suspension issued by the Richland County Child Support Enforcement Agency. A representative will be present to answer any questions parents may have about their child support orders.
Pscholka-Gartner noted that showing up for Amnesty Day is just the first step.
Want to help ensure child support gets paid
“We want those parents to keep showing up to court and paying their child support obligation because, at the end of the day, this is about making sure Richland County children are financially supported,” she said in the release.
This Amnesty Day offers a chance to those parents who are serious about addressing their child support arrears. If a parent is unemployed, he or she will be required to attend the Job Fair and will be ordered to complete a specific number of job applications.
Parents will also be required to make a payment toward their child support obligation within 30 days. Finally, they will be required to attend scheduled review and sentencing hearings where the court can monitor their child support payments and their efforts to find and maintain employment.
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