Reducing Child Support Debt in the Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) Demonstration

Douglas Phillips
June 2021

The federal Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) demonstration project was a federally-funded grant to study the effectiveness of using procedural justice methods to enforce child support orders. This brief discusses strategies used to deal with child support arrears. Most participants in the PJAC program had accrued arrears. PJAC case managers used the procedural justice principle of helpfulness to assist the participants with their arrears balance. The case managers reviewed each case to develop a strategy for reducing the arrears. Strategies included finding time periods where support should not have accrued, negotiating arrears owed to the custodial parent, and utilizing state arrears forgiveness programs.