While you are more than likely accustomed to seeing recreational vehicles traveling on the interstate or parked at highway rest stops, you might do a double take if you noticed one parked outside the local courthouse. Now, imagine how shocked you’d be if this RV was painted bright pink, and manned by people in teal shirts handing out fliers to those exiting the courthouse.
While you might think this was either some sort of food truck or even a reality TV stunt, this couldn’t be any further from the truth.
Believe it or not, this RV is actually a rolling nonprofit legal clinic designed to provide invaluable services to those parents with pressing child support issues.
The program, known as Project Child Support, was the brainchild of a New Jersey-based entrepreneur who made the decision to launch the project back in 2009 after discovering that the amount of back child support owed in the U.S. stood at billions of dollars.
Flash forward five years and the project, dedicated to the memory of the entrepreneur’s mother, is now fully operational, providing free legal services to indigent — and often frustrated — parents.
Here, the services offered in this “unconventional” law office include providing custodial parents with assistance for everything from the filing of documents and preparation for legal hearings to collection services and investigative services to locate missing parents.
Similarly, it also assists those parents who are behind on child support payments, helping them calculate the amount owed and seek modifications to reflect the major changes in their circumstances.
“Parents are dealing with two of their most important assets: their children and their money,” said the entrepreneur. “We need a service to assist in diffusing that tension.”
Thus far, the Project Child Support RVs have been operating solely in New Jersey and New York. However, the entrepreneur indicated that there are now plans underway to start 10 additional units in cities across the U.S. (It remains unclear whether the Twin Cities would be one of these destinations.)
It’s certainly encouraging to see someone recognize a real need in the community and go out of their way to make it happen.
Remember, if you have questions about divorce or would like to learn more about child support — enforcement or modification — consider contacting an experienced legal professional who can answer your questions and fight to enforce your rights.
Source: The Star Tribune, “RV outside family court offers legal advice on child support to New York, New Jersey parents,” Rachelle Blidner, Aug. 27, 2014