Child Support Amnesty Day to remove bench warrants

Kansas Department for Children and Families, Wichita Facility
Kansas Department for Children and Families, Wichita Facility

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Child Support Amnesty Day is an opportunity we see in Kansas once a year. This program allows parents to get a relief on their back pay by removing present bench warrants related to their delinquent child support payments. KSN spoke to the Department for Children and Families as well as primary parents to get an idea of how this works and how locals are responding to it.

“At the end of the day, this is about Kansas kids,” said Sarah Foster, Department for Children and Families. “Of course, we want parents to be able to keep up with their payments and take advantage of opportunities before it turns into a bench warrant, but sometimes it doesn’t work out.”

The mission of Child Support Amnesty Day is to remove bench warrants, due to parents falling behind on payments and not showing up to court to set up new payments. KSN spoke to both moms and dads today to get an idea of how they feel about the opportunity.

“For the fathers who don’t help and don’t take care of their children, it’s completely unfair to the moms and to the children but for the fathers that are helping and just have trouble paying the child support because of the amount or whatever the situation is, it is fair,” said one local mom.

“I mean if their license is suspended, and they have a bench warrant, how are they supposed to get to work or really make any moves to pitch in,” said one local dad. “In my situation, she put me on child support to get back at me, not for our daughter.”

How does Child Support Amnesty Day work? The first step is to show up. If you live in Sedgwick County, you can go to the Atwood Center on Friday or call 316-660-5825. For all other Kansas counties, the Amnesty Day is scheduled for Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The second step is to pay the required amount to lift the warrant.

“The beauty of Amnesty Day is all we ask for are the lesser amount of $500 or two months payments for child support,” said Foster. “So, if you owe $200 a month in child support you can pay $400, and we will set the warrant aside.”

However, this opportunity does not take away that total back pay amount due. It allows for the parent to pay a portion of the balance to have the bench warrant removed. This weight relieves some of the pressure and gives the parent another chance to get back on track. Though, showing up is only part of the solution.

“You have to come back to court,” explained Foster. “We want to see you again. So please, start paying and please keep paying; then when you come back to see us, it is a very much different atmosphere than it is when you’re not paying.”

Again, Sedgwick County parents can take advantage of this opportunity on Friday, all other counties within Kansas can show up to their designated location on Thursday.

Designated locations:

  • Hays: Sunflower Child Support Services I 205 E. 7th St. Suite 400A
  • KC: Veritas HHS I 707 Minnesota Ave. Suite 500
  • Olathe: YoungWilliams I 500 N. Rogers Rd.
  • Topeka: YoungWilliams I 120 SE 6th St. Suite 106

Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.