Aug 13, 2012 at 8:22 am
ST. PAUL, MN (KNSI) - Parents who don't pay their child support are not just hurting their own children they're also taking advantage of taxpayers, by putting pressure on state programs that help the poor.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services reports a trickledown effect when support payments are not made to the custodial parents.
"When the child support is not being paid, there is pressure on both the custodial parent and the state system, because custodial parents may have to rely on other public assistance programs in order to meet the needs of their children and families," Spokeswoman Erin Sullivan-Sutton said.
There are a number of tools that the state can use to go after non-custodial parents who are in arrears on child support. Sullivan-Sutton said that includes drastic measures such as seizing financial assets and intercepting tax refunds.
"If an obligor or non-custodial parent is getting a tax rebate, but they have child support arrears that will be intercepted and redirected to the custodial parent," Sullivan-Sutton said.
Despite the huge amounts of support past due, Sullivan-Sutton said Minnesota is actually one of the top states when it comes to child support payments.
"About 70 percent of the total support owed on these cases gets paid, at least something," Sullivan-Sutton said. "Minnesota actually ranked fourth among the fifty states on that particular measure. And about 40 percent of the cases received 75 to 99 percent of the support owed."
Sullivan-Sutton said about 80 percent of cases in the child support system have debt; and the cumulative past due support in Minnesota is currently over 1.5-billion dollars.
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