Parents who do not pay their child support are deadbeat parents. This creates a hardship for the case managers in the child support office, the legal staff in preparing documents and court appearances, but most importantly, the children who are the recipients of the child support. Child support enforcement exists to help ensure that every child receives the support that is required by law. This process begins through court ordered divorce, paternity genetic testing, or application made directly to the child support office.
Through a court ordered divorce proceeding, the absent parent (the individual who is not awarded custody) is required to pay child support. Guidelines are established for determining the amount to be paid and an order is established. If an individual is in disagreement with an order a paternity genetic test can be given. A custodial parent can complete an application to submit to the local child support enforcement office. Once this is received, the application goes through several processes.
First, an establishment case manager reviews the paperwork and has appointments with both parties involved. Once the order is established, through the case manager or child
support court, the case goes to an enforcement case manager. This person is responsible for enforcing the child support order by maintaining contact with the absent parent, securing employment information, address, etc. If an individual fails to comply with the order, another process begins. The case is referred to the legal department for enforcement. Paperwork issued from the court is mailed to the individual requiring them to appear in court on a specific date and time. If they do appear, they are given an opportunity to explain why they are not meeting their order. If this is acceptable by the judge, they are given another opportunity to comply. In most cases, the absent parents do not show up for court and a contempt warrant is issued. These deadbeats are not easily found. The child support enforcement office has to depend on information received from concerned citizens. However, most citizens do not want to get involved due to a fear of retaliation. Many steps are taken to attempt to enforce the order.
The number of deadbeat parents is growing every day. Stricter laws need to be enacted to enforce these cases. Once the absent parent is jailed for non-compliance, there needs to be a minimum amount of time (ex: 60 days) that the individual has to serve regardless if the compliance is met or not.