Are the laws on unpaid child support outdated?
Thu, 14 Jul 2011 18:21:11 GMT —
Missouri Child Support Enforcement is responsible for collecting child support from those who aren't paying.
But are they getting the job done?
Some people think they aren't.
KRCG's Facebook Crew took one woman's concerns to authorities Thursay to get some answers.
Missouri Child Support Enforcement has a lot of power when it comes to making people pay.
"They can issue wage withholdings out, when a party is working, that works great. They can also suspend their driver's license or professional licenses, Cole County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Holly Finch said. Then we take the cases that the state cannot work and then they refer them to prosecutors around the state,"
But even with all that, one Mid-Missouri woman said she's been waiting for her ex-husband to pay for 8 years.
"My youngest son's father owes me $35,000. In the past 8 years we have received maybe $250 and I think that was from a garnish on a tax return, Mid-Missouri Resident said.
The woman told me that there's a lot more that needs to be done with the child support problem.
"I TMve contacted them through phone, letter, and I even sent his address to them a few times. The people who are entrusted to enforce this just simply aren't enforcing it, Mid-Missouri Resident said.
I took the woman's case to the Cole County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, to find out what more could be done.
"With her case it could be that he has what we call a term absconded, which means he has taken off. If that's the case you can't get an individual to do something if you cannot find that individual, Finch said.
Finch agrees that there are problems when it comes to getting non-custodial parents to pay, and she blames a lack of resources.
"It costs to incarcerate someone, it costs to keep them on supervision, and it costs to have them in the prosecutors office. So it's really just a delicate balance of figuring out how to best use those management tools, Finch said.
The numbers highlight the problem.
There are almost 400,000 people in Missouri who pay child support, with only a little more than a thousand staff members in the state to track and enforce the payments.
A new website online is now trying to help custodial parents get their child support.
The website is geared so that employers can report who is working for them at all times in order to help the Department of Social Services find a non custodial parent who isn't paying child support.
Tell us what you think about un-paid child support.
There are more than 377,000 people in Missouri paying child support on at least one child and only 1,000 staff members to handle the support.Missouri Child Support Enforcement within the Department of Social Services is tasked with collecting unpaid child support, which Missouri can add interest, too, but is it enough? Are people paying their back child support?Is it time to change the law on parents who don't pay child support?Tonight at 10, the KRCG Facebook team looks into an issue you asked us to cover.