Gov. Susana Martinez
SANTA FE–Gov. Susana Martinez has proclaimed August 2013 Child Support Awareness Month to salute all New Mexico parents who support their children and to encourage all New Mexicans to work together to foster a better understanding of the importance of fulfilling financial responsibilities to New Mexico children.
“New Mexico’s children deserve to have the support of both parents, emotionally and financially,” Martinez said. “When both parents are involved with their child, that child is more likely to be successful in school, with their fellow-students, and in life.”
In Martinez’s continuing effort to support New Mexico’s children, the Human Services Department’s (HSD) Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) will conduct the Bench Warrant Amnesty and Round-up Program in August in anticipation of children returning to school.
“Preparing to go back to school is costly,” Human Services Department Secretary Sidonie Squier said. “Any parent who is so delinquent in paying child support that they’ve received a bench warrant for lack of payment needs to come forward and pay what they owe to help their child or children go back to school with the proper tools.”
There are more than 700 non-custodial parents who are delinquent in paying child support and have a bench warrant issued by a New Mexico Court related to their child support case.
The Bench Warrant Program starts with the opportunity to clear up the bench warrant by providing an amnesty period beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, Aug. 5 through 5 p.m. Aug. 9.
A list of all non-custodial parents having outstanding bench warrants issued throughout the state is posted on the HSD website here.
“This amnesty week is the perfect opportunity for a non-custodial parent with an active bench warrant to visit the appropriate child support office related to their case, pay the full amount of the bond, and get the warrant quashed without fear of arrest,” CSED Director Andrew Vallejos said. “The great thing about this type of bond payment is that the money goes directly toward the overdue debt.”
The CSED offices will accept payments in the form of cashier’s check or money order. Upon full payment of the bond, an order cancelling the bench warrant will be filed with the district court. If an individual is unable to pay the full amount of the bond set by the court, a negotiated, reduced bond payment or payment plan may be worked out. The payment plan amount of past due child support can be worked out with the consent of the parent to whom the support obligation is owed. The payment plan must have final approval of the court.
Following amnesty week, outstanding bench warrants will be shared with the New Mexico State Police (NMSP) and local law enforcement officials. Authorities will begin the “round-up” portion of the Bench Warrant Program.
The CSED set yet another record in child support collections during State Fiscal Year 2013 with a total of $132.1 million, which is more than $16 million above the goal set for CSED by the Legislative Finance Committee.
Individuals having questions may contact CSED toll free at: (800) 288-7207 in-state or (800) 585-7631 out-of-state.