STATEWIDE – Thursday we told you how the state tries to get deadbeat parents to pay their child support.
T.J. Tremble takes a look at what some legislators believe may be a step forward in child support collection.
Governor LePage said the best place for people behind on their child support payment during the week is at work. And on the weekends, let’s bring them in, to house them in our care for a couple of days on the weekend.
The governor’s call to jail deadbeat parents may be a sentimental choice, but so far no bills proposing that have been submitted to the legislature. However, to date, only one bill addressing back child support has been submitted.
Senator William Diamond, D-Windham said “Well, currently, if the obliged parent to make payments is able to skip around and not be found for 20 years then they’re considered, that’s defense, no longer a need to go after them. They no longer have an obligation to pay.”
Diamond said there are too many loopholes for deadbeat parents. He added “And that’s not fair. Cause what that does is motivates one to not pay.”
Senator Eric Brakey is the senate chairperson of the Health and Human Services Committee. He believes the laws dealing with non-custodial parents and child support need to be reviewed. He added “And take a real hard look at what’s in place right now. Is that working? And are there other solutions we can look at to really make more accountability there.”
While Governor LePage elevated the discussion around the deadbeat parent issue, Brakey said it’s an issue he’s heard from constituents. He stated “You know, a single mom. The father’s not in the equation. Trying to get this individual to pay child support, while he may be trying to duck the system.”
Regardless of the fighting between parents, court dates, non-payment of child support, the question remains, who really gets hurt?
The State Attorney General’s Office only gets involved with child support enforcement if a parent is applying for welfare benefits. But, State Attorney General Janet Mills said if you are having trouble getting child support payments, contact a lawyer, there may be a remedy.