Child Support Payments Likely Fell in 2010Child support payments in the U.S. fell in 2009 for first time in more than three decades, and while the official government report for fiscal 2010 won't be out for months, it's likely that it, too, saw that downward trend continue. While the states have increased their ability to collect support on behalf of custodial parents by garnishing wages or unemployment checks, those gains have been more than offset by declines caused by high unemployment and the growing ability of noncustodial parents to get court-ordered payment reductions.

State and federal governments collected $26.4 billion in child-support payments for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2009, down 0.7% from a year earlier, according to the Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Child Support Enforcement. The decrease was the first since such records began being kept in 1976. Payments average about $250 a month nationwide.

The decline reflects the squeeze the economy is putting on both sides of the child-support equation, in ways that haven't gotten better. The Labor Department said earlier this month that November's unemployment rate rose to 9.8% from 9.6% in October, and the private sector added just 50,000 jobs, about a third of what analysts had forecast. Additionally, the underemployment rate, which includes both the unemployed and those working part-time who are seeking full-time jobs, held steady at a staggering 17%, while the number of people out of work for at least six months increased to 6.3 million.

Parents Get Smaller Checks

Personal bankruptcies are on the rise. Over the first nine months of 2010, nonbusiness bankruptcies hit 1.054 million, 12% more than during the same period of 2009, and third-quarter filings were up 6.7%, according to U.S. Bankruptcy Courts statistics.

As a result, more noncustodial parents are faced with the dilemma of either going through the months-long process of getting a court order to temporarily reduce their payments until they find a new job, or having as much as 25% of their unemployment checks garnished by state regulators. Either way, custodial parents receive smaller checks each month.

Wage-withholding efforts by states such as California and Illinois have been stymied as more noncustodial parents find themselves out of work, or employed in the informal sector, where income sources are harder for governments to track.

"Obviously, the economic situation has been difficult for families both paying and receiving child support," says Bill Otterbeck, deputy director for California Child Support Services Department. "For many of our families, [child support payments are] the
difference between being in poverty and rising out of it."

Harder to Avoid State Regulators


Nowhere is the situation clearer than in California. The $2.3 billion it collected in child-support payments for fiscal 2010 represents a 1% drop from a year earlier, and 57.7% of California's child-support cases were in arrears at some time during the previous year, up from 56.2% a year earlier, according to the state's Health and Human Services Agency.

Additionally, California's child-support collections through wage withholding -- which accounts for more than 60% of all payments -- fell 5.5% from a year earlier, while payments garnished from unemployment checks surged by 62%, reflecting the problems of a state where unemployment has remained about 2% higher than the rest of the country.

"When a noncustodial parent is working, it can be hard to track down the parent's employer to coordinate wage withholding, but when that parent loses a job and applies for unemployment benefits, the state collection agency's job gets much easier," notes Matthew I. Fraidin, associate professor at the University of the District of Columbia's David A. Clarke School of Law.

Granted, child-support payment levels are largely dependent on the regional economy. For instance, in Texas, where the economic recovery has generally outpaced the country's, child-support payments for the three-month period that ended in November totaled $730.9 million, up 9.5% from a year earlier, according to Janece Rolfe, spokeswoman for the Texas Attorney General's Child Support division. Much of that jump can be attributed to the state having more teeth to dock wages to ensure payments, as child-support payments directly from wage withholdings were up 16% during the same time period.

"That shows me that in Texas, more people are getting jobs, so we're collecting more child support," says Rolfe.

Unemployment Increases Late Payments

In the Midwest, though, high unemployment levels continue to put the squeeze on child-support payments. In Illinois, 88% of child-support cases were in arrears at some point during the most recently completed fiscal year, which was actually down from 91% in fiscal 2008 but was still up from 84% in fiscal 2007, according to Mike Claffey, spokesman with the Illinois Office of Communication and Information. Claffey pegs the 2008 increase in late payments to the unemployment jump.

Both Otterbeck and Fraidin say some noncustodial parents can get a respite of sorts. States such as Oregon and Texas have modified their laws to make it easier to reduce child-support payments for as long as six months in the event of a job loss. Still, the process of getting payments reduced can take months, and the parent still has to pay a minimum of about $100 a month, jobless or not.

Either way, the recent economic downturn years has forced more broken families to go to the state in attempt to secure a fair and realistic child-support payment program, says Otterbeck. "We're serving many more never-been-on-aid families," he says. "We have a very focused initiative where, as soon as someone goes delinquent, we're on the phone with them.

A strong economic upturn, with lots of new jobs, would surely cut down the number phone calls his department has to make.


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andrwessn

As this is a private business run by corporations (PSI and Maximus(Australian)) under presidential authority, also and primarily the private American Bar Association by placement of offices and it's officers in administrative courts, generally they are called corporate offices in each county which many who have been processed have believed to courts of equity not ideology. I personally was most surprised if not astonished to find that a lot of the nations control of employment, welfare, child care and related media accompanies this bureaucratic boondoggle under a political banner. It is a known fact that 78 million American adults are part of the system as well as those unfortunate enough to have children, it employs more than one and one half million people. Not including the attorneys or penal system which as part of the family court may in anyone day be incarcerating more males, usually fathers, that bring each case for processing or rendering of judgment in front of one of these administrative judges. It is a five trillion dollar annual industry that has other costs and benefits from the profits it makes at the cost of it's clients. All usually on the taxpayers dime, not including the costs imposed on the processees. It causes more than 30,000 suicides, directly or indirectly in females, kids, and males, the majority being fathers, more importantly it creates enmity between children and their parents as a deliberate policy as 60% of the male parents never recover a relationship with those children of any significant meaning and become estranged.

Females demographically tend to lose out after their purpose is served and end up desperate for funds to support the lifestyle their children provided. Especially when the child support disguised as alimony runs out and the children fly the coup.

The list of other costs to each state are never ending, in 2006 just in Illinois alone it is estimated that these unfortunate victims cost the taxpayers of that state one hundred and twelve billion dollars in indirect costs to the state. Through the cost of services necessary to support the child support industry. While the budgets of those departments who are listed as 'Not performing year on year', have increased by not fixing the problems it creates. And now as the very problem becomes a zero sum game, the accounting practices should be even more scary. As contrary to these figures, the industry itself can generate a further taxpayer discount by getting paid for the problem it creates. I say people should think long and hard about what I heard with my own ears in one of these courts and by a family law practisioner attorney, Your honor if we followed the law then 75% of our work and the mass unemployment that would follow would be detrimental to our profession. From a judge-, it must be the genetics of the family, it's a good job I don't have to deal or see the kids of these morons, that would make a difference in how I would actually serve in this court. And from a gaggle of these judges, who cares about the fathers rights, just leave the shirt on his back and say see ya. We don't have to worry about trampling his rights.' The truth is the government won't forget about your child support, the taxman can ignore it as a cost of living, but strangely the only person who can forgive it is the beneficiary. In a recent story a father was given his rights back, so that even in his death his insurance would benefit his child who he was never allowed to see. His child managed to get only 6% of a five hundred thousand dollar settlement, guess where the administrative costs went, to the court appointed GAL. The child still never got to college ! So the whole industry is set up quite simply and in accounting this way, 40% of your total lifelong family wealth from any source is attorney fees up front. 80% of net costs are directed towards the children under a consumer model, that predicts most of that will be spent serving those needs in terms of state requirements dictated by the legal profession. I think Kruschev was right when he said from the congressional podium banging the heel of his shoe, I will get you my pale faced capitalists, and so he did. Who would have thought that the legal system was his vehicle to overcome American independence, the enemy within. Our own government

January 03 2011 at 7:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
george1mccasland

"While the states have increased their ability to collect support on behalf of custodial parents by garnishing wages or unemployment checks, those gains have been more than offset by declines caused by high unemployment and the growing ability of noncustodial parents to get court-ordered payment reductions."


I'm behind the effort of father learning they can get modifications to their orders. For two years I've been pressing the issue that fathers be informed they can get free help from Child Support Enforcement, to obtain a modification in their orders. This right has been in place since 1988, under the Child Support Enforcement Act. The problem that has arisen is that the states withhold this information from child support obligors, because when they fall into arrears, the states get addition matching funds from the feds. This link tells about the rights on those paying child support.


Federal Child Support Enforcement Handbook for Non-Custodial Parents
http://ChildSupportRights.org
http://childsupportquiz.childsupportrights.org/

January 03 2011 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cptamer2

http://suncanaa.com/nancy__schaefer
Want to know why many families face months without or children and placed in DFS also known as DSS or CPS? And extremely high CS payments. Take 10 minutes and visit a Senator Nancy Shaefer exposing the corruption of now DSS (cps).

January 03 2011 at 7:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cvpickens@yahoo.com

Non-custodial parents watch your balances and payment records! Even if you have receipts where the monies were taken out of your check as proof the money can “go missing”. I’ve had over $5k fall into this, the US dept of justice (what a joke) will not take your receipts into account and will not investigate, they just want the payment again, I refused as I had proof of all payments (taken out of my payroll check) and all they did was take my tax return, no hearing, no review, no common sense. How can this be legal? Where did this missing money go? Is someone getting rich off of this accounting irregularity or is this just an amazingly stupid coincidence that is happening only to me? The taking of monies without representation should not be legal; our government has gone to far. Watch your account! What can one do to stop this?

January 02 2011 at 1:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to cvpickens@yahoo.com's comment
gmydogbud

Since I'm not involved in the decisions that people make to go to bed and make Their Babies, I should not be forced to pay for their wants and their Offspring. Why should I have to give them my hard earned money which should be used for my children?

January 02 2011 at 12:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
7 replies to gmydogbud's comment
ataloss

Most wives turn out to be money grabbing hoes if they want a divorce or not. Thye want you to provide everything for them, just for some action in the sack.

Stay single get the young babdes (over 18) and to hell with the wives.

January 02 2011 at 12:48 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ataloss's comment
ataloss

Child support should be done away with anyway. Joint custody should be given if both aprents are fit.

January 02 2011 at 12:42 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to ataloss's comment
hornshwangler

yes, but CS will never go away because the incentives are too high.

January 02 2011 at 2:05 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
george1mccasland

Actually, Bird Nest Custody
http://bird_nest_custody.dads-house.org/

January 03 2011 at 5:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rsanson864

SLAVERY. IS A LIVE AND WELL IN THE USA,THIS IS IT. IN OHIO IF SHE HAS THE KIDS AND YOU ARE PAYING. SHE CAN USE THAT MONEY ANY WAY SHE WANTS, DRUGS BOZ ANY THING. THE KIDS CAN GO HUNGRY AND WITH OUT CLOTHES BUT SHE CAN PARTY ON.

January 02 2011 at 11:32 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to rsanson864's comment
john

IN 2011 MEN WILL DO MORE TO REFORM THIS COURT SYSTEM THAT KEEPS THEM FROM SEE THEIR KIDS , IF WE HAVE TO MARCH ACROSS THE COUNTRY OR TO WASHINGTON WE WILL! WE LOVE OR KIDS MORE THAN OUR WIVES THAT WANTED A DIVORCE DO . ANY WOMAN THAT TEARS APART A MARRIAGE AND HAS TO HURT HER HUSBAND AND KIDS TO GET WHAT SHE WANTS IS GOING TO PAY ,..IN THIS LIFE OR THE NEXT. SOMEDAY THERE MIGHT BE MANTITORY HORMONE REPLACEMENT FOR WOMAN , BUT RIGHT KNOW THERE ALLOWED TO RIP THEIR FAMILIES APART WITHOUT ANY MEDICAL INTERVENTION . I`M NOT SAYING ALL WOMAN ARE LIKE THIS ,THERE ARE BAD MEN AND WOMAN ON BOTH SIDES , WHEN YOU MARRY ITS NOT HOW MANY TIMES YOU GO OUT WITH YOU FRIENDS OR HOW INDEPENDENT YOU CAN BE , IT HOW DEVOTED YOU ARE TO YOUR SPOUSE AND YOU KIDS. BOTH MEN AND WOMAN NEED TO WORK HARDER THAN EVER AT THEIR MARRIAGES FOR THEIR KIDS!!LOOK AT THE POSITIVE THINGS IN YOUR SPOUSE NOT THE NEGATIVE THINGS!! STOP THIS DIVORCE THING THAT IS HURTING THOUSANDS OR OUR KIDS EACH YEAR.. DON`T GET A DIVORCE!! THE GRASS IS NOT GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE.

January 02 2011 at 11:19 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to john's comment
george1mccasland

The could do far more by learning their rights and how to address them. The problem is they walk into an attorney and complain about not seeing their kids, without first collecting evidence. Plus, a n attorney is not needed to enforce rights.
Http://Visitation_Rights.Dads-House.Org
http://Getting_Started-Fathers_N_Family_Law.dads-house.org/
Http://Children_Of_Separated_Parents.Dads-House.Org

January 03 2011 at 5:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pinkturkeybull

Afer she takes him to the cleaners, the little guy cant crack that nut

January 02 2011 at 11:06 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply