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Home Courts By County El Paso County Child Support Court
Home Courts By County El Paso County Child Support Court
Child Support Court
Responsible Parent Program (RPP)

History and Background

Child Support Court – Responsible Parent Program (RPP) is a voluntary court program for non-custodial parents who would otherwise face the traditional contempt process for noncompliance with a child support order. The program offers non-custodial parents an opportunity to obtain resources and supportive services in their quest to follow through on child support directives, and in some cases to re-connect with their children.

Many parents feel they face barriers over which they have little control. These barriers that often prevent a parent from following through on a child support order may include unemployment or underemployment, mental/physical disabilities, substance abuse, lack of formal education, and driver’s license suspension. Other issues that may contribute are criminal records, multiple-child support cases, or domestic violence accusations. Efforts by individuals striving to become a valuable and contributing parent in their child’s life and the community are strongly supported by the program components and the court team.

Overview of current presiding Judge

Magistrate Dennis McGuire

Mission and End Goal of the Child Support Court – Responsible Parent Program

RPP is a collaborative effort among professionals in the Magistrate’s office, the Child Support Services Office (CSS), Goodwill Industries and community service providers to support and help individuals remove barriers for successful compliance with their specific child support order. The problem-solving courts employ best practices that help temper traditional contempt proceedings and positively affect order compliance and family bonding.

Program eligibility – qualifiers and disqualifiers

If defendant is interested in Child Support – NCS must meet the minimum qualifications:

  • Be in contempt status/pending motion for contempt for nonpayment of child support
  • Child Support Enforcement Unit (CSEU) is a party to the case
  • Opt in from child support contempt action
  • Most participants are unemployed or underemployed and need assistance with job searches

Program requirements

The intensive process involves regular court appearances, frequent contacts with the RPP case manager, a weekly non-custodial parenting support group and improved child support payment behaviors. The RPP case manager monitors the parent’s progress with the terms of the court’s deferred sentencing and issues an update each week. The Goodwill case manager assists with job preparation and search.  The Court uses incentives for positive follow through and sanctions for negative behavior.

Rewards for compliance in the program can include bus passes or gas vouchers for employment searches; compliance with CSS for driver’s license reinstatement; fast-tracked modification processing; possible partial relief of state debt; suppression of most enforcement remedies; expedited review hearings, and free mediation/system navigation services for parenting time.

Sanctions for non-compliance with any step or requirement in the process can include a return to more frequent court hearings, community service hours, and/or jail time.

Upon successful completion of all of the requirements of RPP (by successfully addressing each barrier recognized by the Court), and twelve months of consistent and consecutive full monthly payments, participants are eligible to graduate.

Referral Process – How participants get into the program

Referrals/Transfers to this court are made from a child support contempt proceeding and scheduled by the Child Support Enforcement Unit (CSEU).

 

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