Archive for Thursday, May 18, 2006

Parents behind in child support face driving limit

May 18, 2006


— Parents behind in their court-ordered child support payments will have their driving privileges severely restricted in Kansas after July 1, when a new law goes into effect.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday signed the legislation, spelling out that those owing more than $500 in child support will find their driving limited to going to and from work or school, or medical emergencies.

The Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services can request the restricted license until the debt is paid or arrangements made to pay what's owed.

Originally, those owing would have lost their licenses, but the Senate changed that to restrict driving. Senators said it made no sense to deny a person the ability to earn money to pay the child support.

Most child support payments in Kansas go through SRS to the parent primarily responsible for the child's care. SRS says the new law will mean an additional $200,000 in child support collections.

About 54 percent of children owed support money receive the full amount, and the average amount owed by deadbeat parents is $7,127. SRS says for the one-year period ending June 30, 2005, child support collections were $156 million. Kansas ranks 36th nationally in enforcing child support orders.

Efforts to restrict hunting and fishing licenses of such parents died last week.


mom_of_three 11 years, 11 months ago

So hopefully by restricting it, the State will take the initiative and take the money owed to the child out of the paycheck instead of waiting for the deadbeat to pay it.
And what are they going to do when the deadbeat is caught driving on a restricted license, but isn't going to work or school? Are they going to throw them in jail, or would that prevent them from earning money? Make them pay a fine, and give it to the kids, but don't reduce the amount already owed.
Deadbeat parents really make me angry. Can you tell?

mom_of_three 11 years, 11 months ago

I was a lucky kid. My dad paid his support, with regularly scheduled visits, even when he was laid off from work. Some of my friends and cousins weren't so lucky, and I saw how their father's neglect (no visits or money) affected them.

Confrontation 11 years, 11 months ago

Maybe this will help decrease the deadbeat dads' visits to the homes of future unpaid baby's mamma's.

mom_of_three 11 years, 11 months ago

enforcer - you seem to know a lot about this.

Is the state going to automatically put driving restrictions on all those who are in arears, or just those who refuse or avoid paying child support?
Do you know what will happen to the deadbeat when he/she is found driving on his restricted license? And are they going to do some checks to make sure deadbeats aren't driving on restricted licenses, or just check during traffic stops? It seems like a good idea, but I don't know if it will change anything unless the deadbeat is faced with a stiff penalty.

anonymus 11 years, 11 months ago

Legend I hope you have money for a cab !!!! I'm sure somehow you'll find money for that and drinks, heaven forbid you should think about spending it on your child F.Y.I legend = dead beat dad

lonelyboy 11 years, 11 months ago

Nothing will happen to these deadbeats in this town. Go to court tell a lie and walk,,, happens with deadbeats everytime the go to court. This town and judicial systems is jacked up on this issue.

mom_of_three 11 years, 11 months ago

I am wondering how the courts will follow up - to see if payments are made, and whether to restrict driving privileges. I don't see it working unless follow ups are done.

I was surprised to see the State will still allow deadbeats to fish and hunt. (It screams "Let's not take away their freedoms, but let their kids struggle" and "let's not take away from any of the State's revenue) But maybe the State can compare the databases of the fishing licenses issued against the database of deadbeats and find some useful information.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 11 months ago

If I'm reading this correctly, they better live close to a grocery store.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 11 months ago

I would assume that this law applies to any parent not paying child support, and that would be both men and women. Some women do not get custody, and are ordered to pay child support as well.

Cait McKnelly 11 years, 11 months ago

I am a woman who is a noncustodial parent. I was so worked over by the courts in Wynadotte County it isn't funny. When I broke up with my ex he left me with over 20K in debt. I have spent the last 8 years paying it off. He got custody of my children illegally. Neither I nor my attorney was informed of the hearing that was held that gave him custody. And he got away with it. At that hearing he was assigned child support that was over twice what he was due based on income information that HE gave the court. How did he get away with this? His attorney was the uncle of one of the judges. I have been back to court three times trying to get custody of the children. All three times I was refused. I am not a dead beat nor am I drug addict/alcoholic/abusive parent. Indeed in the eight years he has had custody I have racked up evidence after evidence that he has abused and neglected those kids. Last summer he and his current wife had to go through SRS mandated family preservation counseling for documented abuse. He received a payment of over 3000 dollars in back support I owed. He spent it on a plasma screen TV. I have no recourse. The law is a joke. Custodial parents are not mandated in any way to account for the money they are paid in support. The state is more concerned with making sure it doesn't have to put out a dime on these kids than they are in making sure the kids are cared for.

KSChick1 11 years, 11 months ago

Are the cops going to sit down the street from every parent who is behind on child support, follow them wherever they go, and then pull them over if the trip was not to work/school/or the ER? And like someone said above, then throw them in jail where they can't work, and then assign fines that again will keep the money from going to the kids? Once knew a woman with 4 kids and she was told by SRS they couldn't do anything until her ex was $40,000 behind in support. In the meantime her lights, gas, and water were always on the verge of being shut off. He would get a job either working for cash (driving cabs in Topeka) or when the garnishee order came through he would quit and get another cash-paying job or just another job until the next order came through. We can all agree she probably picked the wrong man to marry and have kids with, but she did work full time to support them as best she could. It just was not always enough. It's heartbreaking.

mom_of_three 11 years, 11 months ago

No, when you catch them, throw them in jail, and make them pay a fine to get out, and then give that to the kids, but don't reduce any of the oustanding child support.

To the above posters- I am sorry you have spouses who are taking you through the wringer, although I have only heard one side of the story. I can assure you that is not always the case with custodial parents.
I think this law is a good start, but it isn't going to solve the problems.

worriedmom 11 years, 11 months ago

I have a question, i pay child support for my daughter, my ex has custody of her, but mostly i havent. instead i buy whatever she needs and more. which when i have added it up i actullay spend double then im suppose to pay. the only reason i dont send it in is because i know he does drugs i just cant prove it in court because he knows how to flush his system. what do i do?

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