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Jailing poor/unemployed parents for failure to pay child support


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  #41  
September 13th, 2011, 01:16 PM
Tammyjh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Originally Posted by GinaB View Post
Ok, well the cans were just an example. Did you ever think of crafts, sewing, keeping kids, applying for a job yourself, cleaning houses, anything you are good at or not even good at?
One area that almost anyone can get a job is in home care for the elderly. There are online opportunities as well. You might not make much more than pocket change with certain sites but if you work them in addition to another job, every little bit of $ adds up. I worked for a paid to post company a few yrs. ago and made about $700 in 6 months. Not much $ in the whole scheme of things but it was $700 we would not have had and that came in handy over the holidays.

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get out of my head!
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  #42  
September 13th, 2011, 01:18 PM
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Money falls outta my trees.... don't know where you guys live but we have money trees everywhere!
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  #43  
September 13th, 2011, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by BittyBugsMama View Post
Money falls outta my trees.... don't know where you guys live but we have money trees everywhere!

Ok, is the President a member here?
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  #44  
September 13th, 2011, 01:28 PM
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Oh come on. That can't be for real. lol
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  #45  
September 13th, 2011, 03:38 PM
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I think we need to get past the mentality here that all parents who aren't able to make their CS payments "just aren't trying hard enough".

In Defense of “Deadbeat” Dads: Newsroom: The Independent Institute

Quote:
The story told by an imprisoned “deadbeat dad” who identifies himself as “HeartBroken Father” is probably more common. After two heart attacks, he became homeless. Nevertheless, he writes, “I was still labeled a ‘deadbeat dad’ by New York State, which suspended my driver’s license, and my professional license to practice as a Respiratory Technologist in New York.” (Revocation of professional licenses is standard procedure against “deadbeat dads.”)

By the time HeartBroken Father had landed a minimum-wage job, he owed $30,000 in back child support. Despite a perfect record of paying when employed, he was sentenced to five months of consecutive weekends in jail, at which point he lost his job.

After describing the dangerous, humiliating and terrifying experience of being imprisoned even as a “weekender,” HeartBroken Father comments, “some judges use imprisonment ... as a ‘tool,’ to pry loose hidden funds from deadbeat dads, their friends or relatives. I think this tactic is probably very effective, because no one that could pay and get out would subject themselves willingly to prison.”

In short, any “deadbeat dad” who endures prison is probably unable to pay his way out. This scenario becomes more likely when you consider that employed “deadbeat dads” have child support withheld from their wages; employers are required to do so by law. Therefore, those imprisoned are probably unemployed or have earnings that cannot cover their payments.

Their employment prospects sink with each imprisonment, even as their child support debt rises.

We are criminalizing people for essentially being poor, and taking away their freedom without the chance to even be represented by a professional in front of a judge.

It is suggested in this article that self-representation often leads to worse outcomes for the litigant

More people forgo lawyers, represent themselves | ajc.com


Quote:
People acting as their own lawyers often fail to ensure both parties receive the necessary notification and paperwork, and they commit procedural errors, said Cobb County Superior Court Judge Robert Flournoy.

In cases where someone had no legal representation, 62 percent of judges surveyed by the ABA said outcomes for the litigant were worse.
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  #46  
September 13th, 2011, 03:55 PM
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How funny... A deputy just called asking if I know where my baby daddy is because he has a warrant for not paying child support. If he goes to jail, he won't pay, and if he stays out of jail, most likely he won't pay. Doesn't make a difference! Either way, I always thought court appointed attorneys were just for criminal cases - not civil. The child support court cases here for when they get arrested, usually involved a huge court room, and each deadbeat parent goes down one at a time. I don't think they would have enough attorneys to defend all of them, lol.


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND, if they were responsible parents, they would go to the court themselves and request a hearing for a review on child support (or at least send a letter to the judge). To update the courts and say, "I can't find a job right now, I have been looking, can we please make the child support owed a lesser amount each month, until I find a job?"

I'd like to bet that most non paying parents are not responsible citizens, though.
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  #47  
September 13th, 2011, 04:18 PM
Tammyjh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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This is an interesting part of the article
Quote:
Seth Harp, a retired Georgia state senator and former member of the state’s Child Support Guidelines Commission, said the state’s judges use incarceration sparingly.
“The methodology to put someone in jail requires that the person be taken to court before a judge and there they have to be found in willful contempt — someone who actively refuses to seek work or is hiding assets, something like that,” he said. “Judges don’t want to put people in jail. … The whole purpose is to get these people to support their children.”
Harp said he’s seen the tactic work repeatedly in his long career as a family law attorney.
“You can’t get blood out of a turnip, but you can put the turnip in the cooler,” he said. “And in 34 years of doing this, it’s amazing, you put someone in the cooler and the money seems to come.”
Judge Janice M. Rosa, a supervising court judge in New York’s 8th Judicial District and a board member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, said the system in her state adequately protects non-custodial parents by guaranteeing them a court-appointed lawyer if they cannot afford one and carefully determining that they have the ability to pay.
“No one here is going to jail when a factory closes down and you’re one of hundreds looking for a job,” she said. “… Every state has said that debtors’ prisons are illegal, and you have to give these people a way out. You can only put them in jail if they have money and won’t pay.”
I agree with Deniz
Quote:
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND, if they were responsible parents, they would go to the court themselves and request a hearing for a review on child support (or at least send a letter to the judge). To update the courts and say, "I can't find a job right now, I have been looking, can we please make the child support owed a lesser amount each month, until I find a job?"

I'd like to bet that most non paying parents are not responsible citizens, though.
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  #48  
September 14th, 2011, 05:02 AM
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Sorry Deniz. His butt should be in jail.
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  #49  
September 14th, 2011, 07:50 AM
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I agree it should be case by case. Threatening with jail, or locking them up so money magically appears, is completely okay in my opinion. I do think that the father who truly fell on hard times, but other than that had a perfect history of paying CS and caring for his child/ren, should be given a chance to get back on his feet. I do think 2 years is a bit long. I think there needs to be some type of job placement program for these parents (because moms can be "deadbeat" too), just like there is for the single moms.
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  #50  
September 14th, 2011, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hey... Where's Perry? View Post
The child support court cases here for when they get arrested, usually involved a huge court room, and each deadbeat parent goes down one at a time. I don't think they would have enough attorneys to defend all of them, lol.


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND, if they were responsible parents, they would go to the court themselves and request a hearing for a review on child support (or at least send a letter to the judge). To update the courts and say, "I can't find a job right now, I have been looking, can we please make the child support owed a lesser amount each month, until I find a job?"

I'd like to bet that most non paying parents are not responsible citizens, though.

From the article:

Quote:
“And I think anyone who went down and watched one of these proceedings would agree with me. … You see a room full of indigent parents — most of them African-American — and you have a judge and attorney general, both of whom are white. The hearings often take only 15 seconds. The judge asks, ‘Do you have any money to pay?’ the person pleads and the judge says, ‘OK you’re going to jail,’” she added.

So every single one of them ends up in jail. Every single one of these parents has willfully violated the court order. Every single one of these parents is withholding some stash of money somewhere. Every single one of these parents would rather sit in jail for 3 months rather than just buck up and pay something towards their child. The"responsible" parents are the ones who actually show up to these hearings, knowing full well they have no money and they are going to end up in jail. They probably have some glimmer of hope that they will at least be able to plead a case with the judge, but who can honestly plead anything in the span of 15 seconds?


In response to the purple bolded, I found a procedure for petitioning the court for a downward modification (this particular procedure is in NY state)

http://www.inmotiononline.org/assets...ort_in_NYS.pdf

Quote:
CAN THE FATHER GET THE COURT TO LOWER THE AMOUNT OF SUPPORT HE HAS TO PAY?
Under no circumstances can the Court or SCU erase or reduce child support that is past due.
If the father wants to reduce his child support payments because things have changed (for example, he lost his job), he has to file a petition with the court for a downward modification. This means he is asking the Support Magistrate to let him pay less money.
The father’s petition has to be filed in court the same way that you filed your petition for support. And he has to serve you with a copy of the summons and petition so that you can go back to court to respond to his request.
Until he does this, any amount he owes will be considered arrears (past due). Even if the Support Magistrate says he can pay less each month in child support in the future, he will still have to pay you any arrears that existed before he gets a downward modification order. If he gets a downward modification, it could lower the amount of support he owes back to the date he filed his petition.
So correct me if I'm wrong, but what I get out of this is that even when this "responsible" parent has done everything he's supposed to do, before his downward modification is even put into effect, if he owes you $1500 in arrears he has to somehow come up with that money BEFORE his payments are even lowered. And don't forget that arrears are still accruing while both parties are waiting on their hearing and final say by the judge. What if that takes another month or 2? There's another $500-$1000 added to that amount. And since he is a responsible parent, he is still making partial payments to the custodial parent during this time. Uh-oh, now he can't come up with the arrears to pay off before his payments can get lowered. Well, we can't lower his payments until that money is paid. Good 'ol responsible Dad might just find himself in jail, and so starts a vicious cycle.
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  #51  
September 14th, 2011, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennhowru View Post
From the article:




So every single one of them ends up in jail. Every single one of these parents has willfully violated the court order. Every single one of these parents is withholding some stash of money somewhere. Every single one of these parents would rather sit in jail for 3 months rather than just buck up and pay something towards their child. The"responsible" parents are the ones who actually show up to these hearings, knowing full well they have no money and they are going to end up in jail. They probably have some glimmer of hope that they will at least be able to plead a case with the judge, but who can honestly plead anything in the span of 15 seconds?


In response to the purple bolded, I found a procedure for petitioning the court for a downward modification (this particular procedure is in NY state)

http://www.inmotiononline.org/assets...ort_in_NYS.pdf



So correct me if I'm wrong, but what I get out of this is that even when this "responsible" parent has done everything he's supposed to do, before his downward modification is even put into effect, if he owes you $1500 in arrears he has to somehow come up with that money BEFORE his payments are even lowered. And don't forget that arrears are still accruing while both parties are waiting on their hearing and final say by the judge. What if that takes another month or 2? There's another $500-$1000 added to that amount. And since he is a responsible parent, he is still making partial payments to the custodial parent during this time. Uh-oh, now he can't come up with the arrears to pay off before his payments can get lowered. Well, we can't lower his payments until that money is paid. Good 'ol responsible Dad might just find himself in jail, and so starts a vicious cycle.
Yes, because of the fact that they are arrears. It sucks the way the system works, but it is what is.
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  #52  
September 14th, 2011, 09:46 AM
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So it's perfectly OK to take away a person's fundamental right to freedom because they owe money on a debt they have no way of paying, because "it is what it is"?
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  #53  
September 14th, 2011, 09:50 AM
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Never said it was OK, so don't put words in my mouth, and if you read all my posts, I have said it should always be on a case by case basis. I'm just of the mind set that the legal system is what it is and we have to find ways to either work with it, around it, or change it.
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  #54  
September 14th, 2011, 11:18 AM
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I agree it should be case by case.

My ex didn't want to pay because he felt he shouldn't have to - I work. The thought of jail scared him into giving up his parental rights to dd. Best thing that could ever have happened to her.

When my dh was unemployed, he continued to pay his cs payments -- to his ex who is a family therapist & makes 4 times as much as dh. All of his unemployment money went to her & none to our household or our kids. While we were struggling to buy diapers for our son, his ex was jet setting around Europe on a vacation we paid for. But in the end, it was his obligation so we paid.
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  #55  
September 14th, 2011, 12:17 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My2miracles View Post
I agree it should be case by case.

My ex didn't want to pay because he felt he shouldn't have to - I work. The thought of jail scared him into giving up his parental rights to dd. Best thing that could ever have happened to her.

When my dh was unemployed, he continued to pay his cs payments -- to his ex who is a family therapist & makes 4 times as much as dh. All of his unemployment money went to her & none to our household or our kids. While we were struggling to buy diapers for our son, his ex was jet setting around Europe on a vacation we paid for. But in the end, it was his obligation so we paid.

reasons like yours make me glad that Wi has a percentage system not a set amount. DF has a capped limit to his support (which we disagree with, since it isn't even close to 17% of his wages, so he'll make that up to his ex by sending extra should she need it) but they'll only take 17% up to the limit they placed on him. If he makes $100 a week, she's getting $17.
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  #56  
September 14th, 2011, 12:20 PM
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They do 17% of just his salary alone? They don't calculate her's too? For NY they calculate both of the parents salaries and then come up with the 17% number. What makes the difference in how much the non residential parent pays, is the amount of money earned. The parent making more money has a bigger pro rata share than the parent who is making less money, regardless residential custody. Interesting that it's only 17$ of his salary.
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  #57  
September 14th, 2011, 12:39 PM
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Yup, it's 17% of the non custodial parents wages.

From the way they both explained it to me they only require DF supplement her income to make sure DSS's lifestyle does not change. If we go off what he made at his last job, he'd be paying her almost $300 a week if they take the full 17%. That amount, plus her wages, equals what DF makes on average per year (when divided by 12). She HAS to work, if she quits with out a valid reason, she can lose custody (this is individualized for their case, not in general). That would mean she's have to pay child support or risk jail. If she was to lose her job, she would qualify for enough aid that his lifestyle shouldn't change all that much (atm she qualifies for nothing).


The only part of CS that I don't get is why it's not taxable for either person. He doesn't pay taxes on it, but neither does she. So her income is increased by 70%, but it doesn't go on her taxes. So if he makes 100k in a year, he's only going to be paying taxes on roughly 80k of it, so it could come back and affect his return (or so the lawyer said). But then she lives off more than she has to claim. Seems like there should be something there to make it not a tax problem for the payer (df in this case).
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  #58  
September 14th, 2011, 01:21 PM
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Hmm you're supposed to be able to report those pay outs to the IRS. I know we file those payments with the IRS. But I'm not sure if it's taxed or not. I think it actually gives us a tax break. And since I've never collected support I have no clue if they would tax me on it or not.
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  #59  
September 14th, 2011, 01:59 PM
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Hmm, guess I'll have to look at the tax stuff.

His lawyer isn't the best lawyer either. He's really tainted my opinion of lawyers. I get that delays happen due to the courts, but he put off filing for a court date 2 months longer than his promised finale to the divorce.
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  #60  
September 14th, 2011, 02:10 PM
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I know in WI they don't even ask on taxes if you receive any child support or anything. It is also taken out pre-tax from your check (if there is direct deposit). If anything they should take taxes out on the payer's end. If I am getting child support then have to pay more in taxes I'd be pretty peeved. It's not considered earned income, that may make the difference.
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