This bill looks to be the rare bipartisan bill primarily sponsored by a right wing Republican that is actually a good idea. Representative Tim Dukes’ HB65 would require any person who owes child support to advise their attorney or insurance carrier of that fact if and when they receive monetary awards in the form of a court settlement, verdict, judgment, or under a worker’s compensation award.
This bill then directs the attorney, insurance carrier or other paying agent to pay the proceeds up to the arrears owed to DCSS to satisfy any outstanding child support owed to the child’s custodian. If child support arrears or retroactive support is owed, the lien, up to the amount of child support arrears or retroactive support owed, must first be paid before any funds (excluding the first $1,000 of net proceeds) may be released to the prevailing party.
My only problem with this bill is trusting the person who owes child support to inform his attorney or insurance carrier. If they already owe child support and aren’t paying, why would the deadbeat feel conscientious enough to be inform his attorney. I’d rather have a database that courts, attorneys and insurance companies must check first before dispersing funds.
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 13 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CHILD SUPPORT
SPONSORS: Dukes, Henry, Lopez, Pettyjohn, Simpson, Briggs King, Hensley, Keeley, Longhurst, Paradee, Ramone, Wilson
HISTORY: Assigned to the House Health & Human Development Committee on 3/9/17.
STATUS: Tabled in Committee on 3/29/17
This topic makes me see red. There is no excuse for not paying child support, and I’ll never understand why we let people get away with it. And, newsflash, many of these deadbeats have the money – in fact, they’re quite well off.
The self-reporting in this bill won’t accomplish much. Deadbeats are really good at one thing – hiding their money. They’ll give it to their family to hold, arrange to get paid under the table, etc.. They also avoid payment by dragging the custodial parent into court. This is a cute trick since part of it relies on them continuously pushing back the hearing date and not paying child support during that time. Meanwhile, the custodial parent is struggling to make ends meet. And many times the amount of child support past due is negotiated down to a lower amount. It’s past time to start throwing these people in jail and seizing their assets. Oh, they had their car seized and now claim they can’t get to work. I. Don’t. Care. It’s not like they used their paycheck to fulfill their child support obligations.
The problem is: We just aren’t serious about child support. We treat it as an option and allow certain non-custodial parents to walk away from their responsibilities while the custodial parent is paying for food, clothing, medicine, daycare, school supplies/trips, rent and utilities (both of which cost more when you have children), etc…
Deadbeats always have an excuse. It’s past time to stop listening to them and take their non-payment seriously. The main reason they don’t pay is because they know they’ll get away with it – or, worst case scenario for them, they end up paying less than what they owe. Not paying child support becomes financially rewarding. “Oh, you owe 10,000.00 in back support, but you don’t have that money? Okay, how much can you pay? 4000? 5000? 6000?”
I did a rough calculation. Two parents (one custodial; one non-custodial), both taking home 2500.00 a month, two children and 600.00 a month for daycare. The cost of child support is 890.00 a month – which is roughly 200.00 a week. That is more than reasonable. 100.00 a week per child. In fact, it’s an amazing deal.