child support Archives - Page 19 of 20 - Cordell & Cordell

Changes to help inmates pay child support

A number of states have begun to implement changes designed to help fathers in prison obtain child support modification so that they will not fall behind on their payments.

The Associated Press reports some states, including Texas and Massachusetts, allow inmates who are fathers to modify their child support so they are only paying between $20 and $80 per month. In addition, Connecticut and a number of other states have rules that allow judges to stop child support payments completely when the payer has no source of income.

Charisse Hutton, Connecticut’s director of support enforcement services, said that such rules typically lead to more fathers actually making child support payments.

“I want that order to be fair, so there is a better chance that person can and will pay,” she told the news source.

However, some states, such as Tennessee, consider jail “voluntary unemployment” and allow fathers to accumulate tens of thousands of dollars in back child support, something that advocates say hurts the chances of it ever being paid.

In 2007, there was nearly $25 billion collected in child support payments around the country, according to the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement.

Man chooses jail over alimony

A West Virginia man is sitting in jail rather than paying alimony to his ex-wife, in a move that he hopes will lead to the state enacting child paternity laws.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports that Sean Keefe is spending six months in jail rather than pay his former wife $1,800 a month in alimony.

Keefe said that he discovered during the divorce process that he is not the father of his wife’s youngest child, and while his current wife says he has continued to pay $1,300 a month in child support, he has drawn the line at paying the spousal support, reports the news source.

Keefe and his current wife are hoping that Senate Bills 502 and 503, which were introduced in the state legislature during the most recent session, will be passed and help men going through divorce.

The purpose of SB 502 is to “provide a procedure for vacating a judgment of paternity when there is genetic evidence that excludes the previously established father as the biological father of the child in question,” according to the website of the West Virginia legislature.

Bill 503 would bar alimony payments if there is proof of an affair.

Oklahoma child support cases hit record high

Child support cases in Oklahoma recently hit a record high, according to data from the state’s Department of Human Services (DHS).

The Tulsa World reports that there are more than 200,000 open child support cases in the DHS’ Child Support Division for the first time. These 200,240 cases represent 222,740 children, Child Support Division spokesman Jeff Wagner said.

The news source reports that Oklahoma has experienced the second-highest rate of growth in its collection of child support over the past decade. Specifically, in 1998 the state collected $96 million in child support and in 2010 that number increased to more than $300 million.

“Parents who pay child support regularly are also shown to be more involved with their children, providing them with emotional as well as financial support,” said Wagner. “It’s critical to our whole society that parents take responsibility for raising their children.”

A number of factors go into computing child support payments in Oklahoma, including gross monthly income, child care expenses and the percentage of nights the child spends with each parent, according to the DHS.

Jermaine Jackson child support dispute settled

Jermaine Jackson recently settled a child support dispute with his wife.

Jackson, a former member of the Jackson 5, will pay his wife, Alejandra Jackson, about $80,000 in child support, according to settlement terms. TMZ reported the performer had owed his wife $91,921 in unpaid child support.

Jermaine reportedly paid the settlement amount in full, according to recently filed court documents.

WVUE-TV, a Fox affiliate in New Orleans, reports that Alejandra Jackson first took her ex-husband to court over unpaid child support in 2009. The news source reports that the couple has two children, Jermajesty and Jaffar.

The couple was married in 1995, and Jermaine filed for divorce in 2004.

Jermaine was the initial lead singer of the Jackson Brothers – a forerunner to the Jackson 5 – until his brother and pop icon Michael took over most of the vocal duties in 1968. Jermaine began his solo career in 1972 but remained a part of the group until 1975, when he officially split from his brothers.

Jermaine enjoyed moderate success as a solo artist and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for the album “Let’s Get Serious”, which was released in 1980.

Dangers When Behind on Child Support

In a recent article in The Belleville News-Democrat focusing on a man whose outstanding child support debt was brought to the state’s attention, Cordell & Cordell attorney Richard Coffee explained the danger of defaulting on mandated child support payments and possible remedies to deal with the high-interest penalties that are often affixed to such debts.

According to the story, it was the processing of a A $250 stimulus check that brought to light the unpaid child-support debt of Carnell Williams, a Washington Park father of 6.

Because his unpaid child support and accrued penalties at the rate of 9 percent, Williams has accumulated a debt of $163,582.

Mr. Coffee explains the ways that parents who have accumulated these large penalties can seek some relief through negotiations and how the ability to make lump sum payments might be used to leverage such negotiations.