List will identify deadbeat parents
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$40 million owed in Jefferson cases
Whoever said there’s no such thing as bad publicity never owed unpaid child support.
Parents behind on their payments to Louisville children will soon have their names published in The Courier-Journal, courtesy of the Jefferson County attorney’s office.
The soon-to-be-publicized parents owe more than $40 million, said County Attorney Irv Maze, including one father who is $202,000 in debt for 13 children.
The list, which will include the last known addresses of the parents and the amounts they owed as of June 30, is the first of its kind in Jefferson County.
It is slated to appear in the newspaper July 31 and the next day on the Web sites of The Courier-Journal, WDJX-FM and Louisville metro government.
Maze said he hopes the list will generate leads that help track down deadbeat parents.
“I can’t get the money if I don’t get them served and in court,” Maze said.
Maze won’t say how many people will be on the list or how he chose them. And he says those who aren’t on the list but who owe money still must pay.
Jefferson County has 67,000 child-support cases on its books that affect a total of 100,000 children, according to the county’s child-support enforcement division. The county attorney’s office wouldn’t comment on how many of those cases are in arrears.
The county’s child-support enforcement division collected about $68 million in child-support payments last year, a quarter of Kentucky’s annual total.
Denise Liddell, 34, said she needs the help. Lidell, a Louisville mother of three, said her ex-husband, Stephen Morrow, has not made court-ordered payments for child support since October.
She has not been able to locate him since then, she said.
The Courier-Journal made several attempts to contact Morrow at several recent addresses but could not reach him.
County attorney’s office spokesman Bill Patteson confirmed that Morrow owes $6,600 in unpaid child support. But he would not say whether Morrow would appear on the upcoming list.
Liddell has been getting by, she said, with help from family and Social Security disability payments for her two sons, she said.
Debbie Kline, executive director of the Association for Children for Enforcement of Support, a national advocacy group based in Cleveland, called the list an “excellent idea.”
Not only will it help track down delinquent parents, she said, but it will encourage payments in the future.
“If someone knows their name could be published on a list, then maybe they won’t let their child support go unpaid,” Kline said.
A 2001 state law requires Kentucky to publish an annual “Most Wanted” poster of purported child-support delinquents.
The first poster appeared in 1992. Posters have appeared annually since 1997.
Since the “Most Wanted” program began, it has helped locate 41 of 46 publicized delinquent parents owing $935,000 to 68 children, according to the state attorney general’s office.
But some fathers’ rights advocates criticized publishing the names of parents who owe child support, saying the public shame unfairly stigmatizes fathers.
Jeffery Leving, a prominent Chicago lawyer who lobbies for fathers seeking custody and visitation rights, heads the state-appointed Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood.
Most fathers behind on child support don’t pay because they don’t have the money, often because of illness or unemployment, Leving said. Many who can pay but don’t have been denied visitation rights, he said.
“I’ve never seen a list of deadbeat moms who don’t allow visitation,” he said, adding that the U.S. child-support enforcement system is “gender biased.”
The law considers child support and visitation separate issues, Maze said. Denying a parent visitation rights does not excuse not paying child support, he said.
Whatever the causes of child-support delinquency, child-support advocates said, children almost always suffer the most serious consequences.
The Lighthouse, a community center in Newburg, holds after-school and summer programs for children in first through ninth grades.
Many of the children come from single-parent homes where the absent parent, usually a father, falls behind on child support, Executive Director Margaret Butler said.
Every day she sees the negative effects that not having enough money, and not having a father, has on kids, she said.
“I see it in their anger,” she said. “Some of them refuse to learn because there’s no encouragement to learn.”
The emotional void left by an absent parent hurts at least as much as the lack of money, she said.
“A lot of these parents will come on the scene, promise the child a world of things, and then disappear,” she said.
8 comments â€¢ Edit
Comment from: ericatruth [Visitor] Â· http://pissedoffwhitemen.iwarp.com Â· Edit
Now if they publish a false amount for someone, or the name of someone who is not behind in payments – will they get sued?
I SURE HOPE SO!
Watch and see what happens.
07/25/05 @ 14:18
Comment from: JPC,Sr [Visitor] Â· http://www.csr4ncpa.BraveHost.com/ Â· Edit
It says $40,000,000. thats forty million in just one county in the USA which means they are never going to get that cash – never ever.
We can trust our bretheren parents over there to keep defying the thievery of child support just like all over the USA.
Keep up the work and well done Jefferson County.
07/25/05 @ 16:12
Comment from: J Bailey [Visitor] Â· Edit
I think that if the mothers don’t let the fathers see the children, the fathers shouldn’t have to pay child support. Although it is considered separate,(child support and visitation) it shouldn’t be. The mothers can get away with not letting the fathers see the children, but the fathers can’t get away with not paying child support. This is an injustice. If the child support is vital to the children, so should their visitation to their fathers be vital. Visitation…to me this means a visitor. No parent should have to feel like a visitor in their children’s lives. It should be a joint endeavor…raising the children together; equal time for each parent. Just because a relationship doesn’t work out, shouldn’t mean either parent should have to give their children up. These children are taken away from their fathers and it is an injustice to these fathers. They love their children just as much as the mothers.
07/25/05 @ 17:30
Comment from: R. Evans [Visitor] Â· Edit
You will find that it is mostly the other way around. Non-custodial parents (male or female) don’t pay child support and yet they threaten the custodial parent with legal action if they don’t get to see the kids… It bothers me completely that the children become pawns in the battle of the parents. Our county (and others in Washington State) insist on the parents to separately take a class to learn how not to put the Children In the Middle. Does it work? We have no way of tracking the results, but since I work with parents who are divorcing and I hear how they treat their children… even after the class… on the most part, I donâ€™t think it is. As to publishing names of dead beat parents in a newspaper and on the web… I wonder how that will affect the children in the long run. Itâ€™s bad enough that that some children believe the non-custodial parent doesnâ€™t love them enough to pay child support… but now, those children might consider that they are the cause for their mother or fatherâ€™s names published, for the entire world to see. I mourn for the children… they are the innocent ones.
07/26/05 @ 16:45
Comment from: Kevin Michael Merck [Visitor] Â· Edit
These men are just victims of a state operated child support scam, nothing to be ashamed of. The ones who should be ashamed are the criminals who are behind this racket, and the single female pigs who bear children in order to extort money from the father and the taxpayer.
The mother who deprives a child of it’s father in order to extort money from him and the public, these are the scum who should be ashamed. And last but certainly not least, the scumbag lawyers and other “legal professionals” and case workers who live off the backs of our children and the taxpayer.
All these degenerates belong in the hall of shame.
07/26/05 @ 23:46
Comment from: james k. devine [Visitor] Â· Edit
you dont see a list for deadbeat moms because in most cases if the man has custody he doesnt get child support, i have been fighting the monmouth county courthouse in new jersey for child support for my three kids and like always the answer is denied ,but i will keep fighting for my kids who go without sometimes because of a bias system in place and a courthouse that in my eyes is bias on every ave. peace,james k. devine
07/27/05 @ 19:17
Comment from: Ex-Dad [Visitor] Â· Edit
As an ex-dad denied visitation for the past 9 years, I have not seen my child grow up because of the corrupt politicians and judges in Jefferson County, Colorado who never stop chasing me for more money.
I hope that there is a hell reserved for them.
07/27/05 @ 20:08
Comment from: Amy [Visitor] Â· Edit
I live in Jefferson County. I’d be surprise if they catch anybody. Cops around here are too busy doing other things and getting in trouble themselves. And $40 million seems excessive. Either it’s a typo from the newspaper(I’ve caught a few here and there) or there’s an math error on someone’s part. Now I don’t know how things work in the family courts around here. I’m originally from Butler County Ohio which is where I think Jefferson County got their idea for publishing the list. Someone else had mentioned about publishing wrong information. It can and will happen. My husband was listed on the Child Support wanted poster in Butler County once and they had his weight, height, and the color of his eyes totally wrong. Wonder where they come up with this info. Obviously not from the driver license bureaus.
07/27/05 @ 22:34
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