Child Support System Continues Failing Well-meaning Dads

child support systemYet another case of the child support system failing a well-intentioned father has made its way into the headlines.

The latest debacle comes from Orange County, Fla., where Dave Hernandez saw his income drained for months after his four sons moved in with him following the death of his estranged wife.

For nearly four months, the state took $800 each month from Hernandez’s checks as he struggled to keep his head above water financially while supporting four boys.

Immediately after the death of his estranged wife, Hernandez provided the child support office with a death certificate and proof that his sons were living with him. They told him they would let him know something shortly.

Several months later, he was still waiting. Every time he called to check the progress of the case or to ask where his child support payments were going, he was told the state would continue taking the money until his case was closed.

“I felt like I was being treated like a criminal,” he told WFTV Channel 9 in Orlando.

Finally, after a local reporter contacted the state about the situation, an official informed Hernandez that it owed him nearly $3,000. Hernandez claims $6,000 would be a more realistic estimate, but was thankful nonetheless.

Sadly, this is just the latest example of the modern child support system’s shortcomings. Here are several other cases previously covered by DadsDivorce in 2015:

The shooting death of Walter Scott.

In April, a South Carolina police officer shot and killed Walter Scott after he fled his vehicle after being stopped.

According to Scott’s family, he was fleeing because he owed more than $18,000 in child support and had a bench warrant out for his arrest at the time of the shooting. Scott previously spent time in jail for missed child support payments.

The story exposed how harsh the state’s child support laws are on poor parents. According to a 2009 survey of South Carolina county jails, one out of every eight inmates was in jail for missed child support payments. A separate study revealed that 75 percent of parents held in contempt for non-payment of child support were currently unemployed or previously unemployed or having difficulty finding work.

Loubert Legros sees his child support pocketed by employer.

In late April, the Albany Times-Union explored the case of Loubert Legros, who claims the state is holding him responsible for child support payments that his employer pocketed.

Legros served as executive chef at Carmine’s Restaurant for nearly three years before it closed. During that time, he claims he lost eight months’ worth of court-ordered child support payments that were deducted but pocketed by owner Carmine Sprio.

Court orders require employers to deduct child support payments from employees’ paychecks and send to the state child support collection unit.

Legros provided documents showing more than $6,800 was deducted from his paychecks while working for Sprio, and yet the court still held Legros responsible for the missed payments.

Carnell Alexander falls victim to paternity fraud.

In January, a judge ordered Michigan man Carnell Alexander to pay around $30,000 of child support debt to a child that DNA tests prove is not his.

In the 1980s, Alexander’s ex-girlfriend listed him as the father of her child in order to receive welfare benefits without realizing that doing so would open up a paternity case against Alexander. Years later, Alexander found this out when he was pulled over for a traffic stop and told he was a deadbeat dad.

Eventually, Alexander was able to obtain a DNA test confirming he was not the child’s father. The mother even admitted he wasn’t the dad and said the real father was involved in her son’s life. She also asked the court to forgive Alexander of his “missed payments.”

However, the judge still ordered Alexander to pay about $30,000 or face jail time. The case exposed how problematic it is that Michigan lacks paternity fraud laws.


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3 comments on “Child Support System Continues Failing Well-meaning Dads

    Iv been paying child support for my entire adult life.. Since i was 18..with my daughter turning 18 $380 is what i pay a month for her yet state only gives her only $13 a month.. Im in debt for that case $40,000..not to mention a case for my 2 sons who are still under 10 yrs old, and are inmy costudy every other wkend, hollidays bdays afterschool during week.. Im in debt $7,000.How could that be? Every week i try to wrk more hours then wk befor so i could afford to buy them icecream and not be broke saturday mrng, after being paid friday..why is is that i make $1700 a wk but take home $640?why am i still deep in debt and getting deeper when iv been paying since age of 36 now..all $ deducted goes to state interest, not my kids

    I just have say that certain mother that i have had experience with my last relationship has made it hard for him.. as they abuse this system to harasse him, made his kids think he his dead, when it comes to him wanting to visit them they wont let him and he respects that and trys to avoid problems with the law. But has he respect there decisons they go and throw in his face that he doesnt care and they’re goin to go out there way to get more money out of him which happens cause all he recieves out a full whole week of 40+ hours all he will see is 100-50 bucks, how are fathers who dont mind paying child support suppose to live off that?? So as he calls and want to set up a court hearing with child support to get assistance on his behalf they dont want to help and tell him he has to pay and can not do anything about it.. I know fathers do have there part to help with there kids mom but theres no need to make fathers paying everything to where mothers are living off child support and dont even have a job.. It would be nice if there was a law for mothers or fathers that recieve assistance should aleast work a miniumum of certain hours to get assistance as they do with everything else these people abuse!!

    Mothers are also affected by this I have 2 boys 12 & 10 thought I’d be with the father forever, destiny took a different path. 7 years later I had 2 more children with my now fiance’ infuriating my ex. without to much personal information I continue to be harassed, child support has taken my license, impounded my vehicle, put a lien on my vehicle, I have been put in jail 3 times for contempt, most recently child support cut off my medical. I am in desperate need of assistance in Wisconsin, I have shown the judge that the amt is incorrect and I have also told them shy I am having trouble finding employment, also I explained how and showed proof that my ex manipulated me by having me write off over $7,000.00 of arrearages he owed me just prior to his big plan that he executed immediately following the $7,000.00 being removed from his name. If anyone can legally assist with this please contact me. Other than for child support I have no drug or criminal record once so ever.

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