HIGH POINT, NC -- A bad economy and high unemployment have child support cases filling court dockets in Guilford County, according to District Court Judge Tom Jarrell.
Jarrell oversaw a slate of more than 70 cases Wednesday morning, but said days with more than 200 cases are common.
The cases often cost state taxpayers money. Many of the defendants who cannot pay child support requests, are granted public defenders which the state pays $55 an hour. Repeated nonpayment of child support can land a parent in jail for up to four months on a charge of civil contempt.
Child support is money paid by the parent of a child to the child's primary guardian. The monthly amount is calculated as a percentage of a parent's income.