Articles from January 2011



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Police: Ga. woman accused in child support scam – U.S. news – Weird news – msnbc.com

Wow.  Why in the world is it so easy for something like this to happen?

ALBANY, Ga. — Police say a Georgia woman used a friend’s baby to collect more than $1,600 in child support from an ex-boyfriend after she convinced him the child was his.

Dougherty County Sheriff’s Capt. Craig Dodd says Regina Thompson’s ex-boyfriend paid the money over two years. Dodd says the ex-boyfriend even had pictures made at the girl’s birthday party.

The 38-year-old Thompson has been charged with five counts of theft. Police say she was keeping her friend’s child when she concocted the scheme.

via Police: Ga. woman accused in child support scam – U.S. news – Weird news – msnbc.com.

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Case may clarify the enforceability of child support agreements that set minimum payments | State Bar of Wisconsin

It always amazes me how reluctant courts are to modify child support downward when the paying parent experiences a change in circumstances.  Our position, however, is that child support as a public policy and institution is wrong from the very beginning because it tends to encourage the destruction of families.  At least in this instance, the court is willing to look at the fact that an unfair child support award can actually hurt a child due to the fact that in shared parenting arrangements, if the paying parent experiences a decline in income, it could mean difficulty in the relationship with the child when the child is with the paying parent.

Case may clarify the enforceability of child support agreements that set minimum payments

Agreements that set “ceiling” amounts on child support payments are unenforceable if there has been a change in circumstances. Now, the Wisconsin Supreme Court may decide whether agreements that set minimum “floor” amounts are unenforceable if there has been a change in circumstances.

By Joe Forward, Legal Writer, State Bar of Wisconsin

Case   may clarify the enforceability     of child support agreements that set   minimum   payments Jan. 11, 2011 – After the divorce, Michael May agreed to pay Suzanne May no less than $1,203 per month in child support for no less than 33 months. But after 17 months, May requested a downward adjustment to account for an involuntary loss of employment.

A circuit court denied May’s request, concluding that the 33-month “floor” was not against public policy and therefore enforceable. May appealed.

Now, the District IV Wisconsin appeals court has certified the case to the Wisconsin Supreme Court to determine whether stipulations that impose a minimum payment (floor) are unenforceable as against public policy.

In Wisconsin, “ceiling” stipulations are unenforceable. That means a support-receiving parent can seek an increase in child support payments, even if the parties stipulated to a maximum payment, if there has been a change in circumstances.

But, according to the appeals court, the supreme court has never squarely decided whether floor payment agreements are unenforceable.

In Frisch v. Henrichs, 2007 WI 102, 304 Wis. 2d 1, 736 N.W.2d 85, the supreme court said in a footnote that: “Stipulating to a minimum amount for a limited period of time does not violate public policy because it ensures that a certain amount of child support is received, which is in the best interests of the children.” But that was not the holding of the case.

Before Frisch, the appeals courts had determined that a child support floor violates public policy if there is no time limit or opportunity for review, or permanently prevents a paying parent from seeking a reduction despite a change in placement.

After Frisch, the appeals court ruled in Jalovec v. Jalovec, 2007 WI App 206, 305 Wis. 2d 467, 739 N.W.2d 834, that a four-year floor violated public policy.

Jalovec appears to be inconsistent with the supreme court’s footnote in Frisch,” the appeals court wrote in May v. May, 2010AP177 (Jan. 6, 2010) (certification).

May argues that support floors may not be in the best interest of the child in shared placement arrangements. Changed circumstances could negatively affect a paying parent’s ability to provide for the children when placed with that parent, May argues.

The supreme court is also asked to decide whether a 33-month (two years, nine months) floor period constitutes a “limited period of time.” May argues that such a period violates public policy “if not tied to a point in time when it would be logical to reexamine support.”

Case may clarify the enforceability of child support agreements that set minimum payments | State Bar of Wisconsin.

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Child Support Payments Likely Fell For Second Straight Year in 2010 – DailyFinance

Things are looking dimmer and dimmer for the economy.  The states are going to start showing some real cracks in their budgets and this is going to be reflected in their collections.  Pressures are going to increase on everyone.

Child 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. (more…)

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Child Support hurts children – here is a story for you!

Here is a comment that was posted some time ago on this blog.  I thought others would find this interesting.  It’s a letter from a young man that had been lied to by his mother about his father.  This is what happens when the state steps in where is shouldn’t.

Dead Broke Kid says:

I am working to pay Child Support ON MYSELF!

How. Well, my MOM COLLECTED child support. She wouldn’t let us See DAD. She hid us with Relatives and TOLD us he was DEAD. She swore he didn’t pay a DIME to anyone who would listen. Funny. AT 19 I discovered he not only Was alive…..he had been trying to have some contact since my Mother decided to Divorce him out of the blue. So I moved where He was and Wow a whole world opened up. Now I am 24. The state of Texas is STILL Making him pay my mother. I have called them! My Mother agreed to Pay Me some of the CHILD support to help with school. DAD has sent Big checks. So far I have recieved Nothing from my Mother. I have no RIGHT to a dollar taken from my Father. So he was not paying what he DOESNT OWE (remember i am an adult) Fast ENOUGH and he has lost his Drivers licence. Without it He can’t work. So if he does not make payments Now he goes to Jail. So You guys are Draining ME to keep my Father out of Jail So you can Steal money For my Mother to DRINK and Party on. Nice system.

Oh and Dad did not ABANDON us. Mom decided she was Gay. Dumped us off with Grandma and has played the victim every since. DONT EVER SAY CHILD SUPPORT TO ME……………..CHILD ROBBERY is what you could call it. Not only did it take my childhood and my Future….now it is trying to steal my Dad from me AGAIN!

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