While the rest of the nation has cleared the recession and continues to see the economy improving, many counties here in Kentucky are still struggling with high unemployment and failed economic growth. Counties especially in the Eastern Coal Field Region are having the hardest time, as was shown recently by the state’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Kids Count Data Center in its statistics release of child support collections across the state.
Although many non-custodial parents say they want to pay their support payments, unemployment, underemployment and low wages are often preventing them from meeting the payment requirements. In some cases this means a non-custodial parent only pays a fraction of the amount owed while in other cases this might mean not paying at all. It’s a problem officials in the Tri-County agree needs to be addressed before tackling the problem of child support delinquency.
One attorney in Knox County believes that the first step in addressing child support delinquency is to create better economic opportunities so that people have enough money to pay their bills and child support payments as well. Many times, because of low wages, non-custodial parents barely have enough money to feed themselves let alone their child, which is a problem found not just in the Tri-County but across Kentucky.
Although counties do have ways of enforcing collections of payments, techniques differ from county to county and what might work for one person may not work for another. And in counties that border other states, officials say it’s sometimes hard to track people down if they move across the border. Officials know changes need to be made, especially if they want to remedy the problems the state is having when it comes to child support delinquency.
Source: The Times-Tribune, “Child support collections see minimal improvement,” LeeAnn Cain, Jan. 27, 2014