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Child Support Calculator For Joint Custody In Michigan

Gtgt Thank you. Please stand by. You will now be placed into conference. gtgt This court is addressed, access and visitation to the children is all addressed in a court. And so people are very aware that they’ve got a child support order, and they’ve got a child support case. And that’s well and good. But with the unwed population, which continues to grow, it becomes more problematic because these couples have an informal kind of situation. They may or may not establish paternity, and by that, I mean they may.

Or may not take the legal steps to ensure that the child has a legal father. And they are couples, as these couples break up, then it’s, there’s no real way to keep father associated with the child. And so mother may be alone with the child for a while, and then she decides, oh you know what I need child support. But by that time the father is so far gone that no one knows where he is, or doesn’t know how to find him. Another likely scenario is that mother goes by CAN or Medicaid.

Those are automatic referrals to child support. So if she goes in and applies for CAN, it’s, child support is going to open a case automatically on that, on that case. And so, again, if they don’t know where the father is, and they can’t find the father, a lot of this action happens behind the scenes and orders, child support orders are set up by default and so forth. So it’s not that unusual for people not to know that they have a case. So if you, there are things that, like, there are things that you might ask when you’re trying.

Child Support and Reentry

To learn if there’s a child support case if you’re working with a low income individual, or somebody in the reentry world. You can ask if he knows that he has a case. And if he has a case, try to get as much information as you can. Try to get the case number to child support agency where the case is. Those are some key elements. Try to get name, birth date of children, Social Security numbers, case identifiers. All of those are very useful. Try to get as much case information as you can.

That will be, that way you’ll be able to assist him with his case. More things to determine, to ask. Slide. To determine if there’s a child support case. If the parent knows he has children, but doesn’t know that he has a case, but he might have a hunch, you can contact the state child support agency in the state where the mother and the children live. And if the parent doesn’t know the state where the mother and the children live, you’re going to have to work with your local child support agency.

You’re going to have to do this for every case that a parent might have. He might have more than one child with, you know, one or more women. So you might get one child support matter cleared up, only to find out that there’s another one lurking behind. So you have to try to get as much information as you can. I think Lela’s going to be able to give you much more of this, where the rubber hits the road kind of information toward the end. Slide. Sometimes it’ll find out that there’s a child support case where you least expect it.

Some parents will learn that they have a child support order when they get a credit report. And child report arrearage is something that is reported to credit agencies. So believe it or not, some people stumble upon the fact that they owe child support by requesting a credit report. And I know that this can sometimes be difficult to clear up, especially when. gtgt Inaudible. gtgt People are trying to gain a foothold again in the work world. gtgt Yeah let me, let me interrupt you, if I, I apologize for that.

Gtgt Sure. gtgt For those who’ve just joined us out, you’re able to mute your phone, use a mute button. And use star six if you don’t have a mute button and try that. I hear some typing in the background and it comes through to all our phones. So if you could refrain from that or somehow mute your phone that would be really appreciated. Karen I’m sorry for the interruption. Please go ahead. gtgt That’s all right. And others learn about their cases when they have a bank account they’ve set up a bank account.

And they’ll find it’s ceased and money taken out of it. Or they’ll find out that their driver’s license has been suspended. These are all things that can occur in the background. Getting back to, you know, this idea that, that they don’t know why the order got so high. Again, it all goes back to the way that child support orders are set up. First of all, to have a child support order, paternity has to be established. If there is no paternity established, you can’t establish a child support order.

So child support may be looking for someone so that they can establish paternity and make him the legal father and financially responsible for a child. The orders, on the other hand, are something a little bit different in that they can be set up without really try, without really having the father present. And I inaudible means that legal steps are taken. There is inaudible the process. But if paternity is established, they can inaudible child support orders without his participation. States have a set of guidelines that helps them determine what the child support order amount.

Should be. And every state has to have these set of guidelines, and they have to be reviewed every four years to make sure that they reflect financial situations that are going on. But if we, if the child support agency learns about employment through quarterly wage data, they’ll go ahead and set an order based on that. Or if the mother says, well you know, he used to be a bricklayer. The judge might very well say, well what’s a bricklayer make here in Virginia Probably nine dollars an hour and 40 hours a week.

So you can see how they can become pretty unrealistic very quickly. Other times states will say, well we’re going to base the order based on minimum wage, 40 hours a week. Again, we know that the population that you’re working with, this is not always realistic and, and the orders come out very high. Slide. So fact number two. If a parent has a child support order, the obligation does not go away automatically if the parent is unemployed or is incarcerated. The arrearage adds up quickly and many states also charge interest.

Layla I think will cover more of this in her presentation. But I think what’s happened, especially in the area of incarceration, where somebody had been working, and child support has been withheld automatically from their paycheck. When, when someone is incarcerated, I think they just assume, because so much is done automatically, that we automatically know that he’s been incarcerated and not able to work anymore. That is not the case. Many states are just beginning to have rudimentary kinds of data exchanges with jails and their department of corrections.

So that’s another reason why the arrearage will just start to rack up. Slide. Steps you can take to address the amount, amounting arrearage. So now that he’s in reentry, he’s out of prison that order is still going to continue to mount up at that order amount that was set. So you need to find out how much, how much the order is for, and how much of the arrearage has accumulated. And using the same steps, trying to find out as much as you can about his case to give it, you know, back an order.

The parent is going to have to request downward modification for the order or the orders that he has. And you’re going to have to do this, or he’s going to have to do this for every child support order that he is party to. And forgive me if I use the, if I use, defaulting to he and father. That’s the majority of our cases and just easier than trying to trip over he, she, and mother, father. But obviously, either parent can, can have a child support order. Slide. If the child support order is in another state,.

Then the uniform interstate family support act, or UIFSA rules apply. States have procedures to accommodate child support matters that involve two or more states. This is very complex. And I’m not, I’m not going to sugar coat it and say that interstate cases are easy. They often are not. And but there are steps that child support agencies are taking to facilitate this kind, this kind of communication. There is a child support network that’s been in existence for many years that allows states to exchange simple transactions with each other.

And in addition, there is a new project underway, on a national basis. It’s going to allow caseworkers to actually query the case management system in another state to get the most recent data in real time. So there, there are efforts underway. We are aware of how difficult interstate can be. And people are working on this all the time. Slide. Will the debt be forgiven The mother receives or received public assistance, such as inaudible or Medicaid or inaudible services. Child support that is collected will be used to reimburse the state.

Some states of the statutory inaudible forgives some of these steps, but others do not. And we know that mothers and fathers who pay child support are not keen about seeing the bulk of their payments go to reimburse the state for CAN or for Medicaid or for foster care. Some states will forgive that debt owed to the state and will allow much or most of it, most of the child support to go directly to the family. And in addition, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 changed many of these very complex child support distribution laws that we have.

So the ultimate goal is to get more money to the family. Slide. Debts owed to the mother though. That’s a different kind of situation. The child support agency or courts cannot forgive past owed debts owed to the mother without her consent. This is known as the Bradley Amendment. And you should know that many mothers will agree to reducing past debt if the payments, if payments can be regularly made. We’re having a lot of success with this involving reentry in Milwaukee. I think they found something like 30 percent of the mom’s were more than willing forgive a lot.

Of the debt that was owed to them. They just wanted to see the dad get back on track and begin to make regular payments. But there was a good reason for the Bradley Amendment as I was telling Layla the other day. That in the early days of child support. Coughing When we, when we weren’t so automated and we couldn’t find people, the child support debt would accrue and we’d finally find the obligor and we’d get him in the court and the judge would say, well that’s too much, you can’t be expected.

To pay that, let’s just forget all that and start off fresh. And you pay 50 bucks from now on. Well, you know, in the meantime, then he would just leave and go and buy houses and, and the families were left without anything. And, and so that’s why the Bradley Amendment said, you know you can’t forgive that past debt. That debt is owed the mother. And so that’s, we’re kind of locked in now because of that in many ways. Slide. Child support will often work with parents who owe larger arrearages.

Child support’s performance is measured on how many cases receive payments. It’s not on how much money we collect. We do collect something like 24 billion dollars a year. But that’s not how our performance is measured. It’s measured on how many cases we collect on. So many child support agencies will work with a parent to create a payment plan. And some will forgive debt and interest if the payments are made regularly. In other words, it’s in the best interests of the child support agency to improve their performance if they can get more cases to pay to a small amount.

And then they can get fewer cases to pay a large amount. gtgt Karen gtgt Yes. I’ve. gtgt Steven asked, Steven asked a question. He says, can you tell us some of the additional programs for arrearages forgiveness Such as having the payer spouse hold a job for six months. Do you know about these gtgt I do and Layla’s actually going to cover what Maryland has done. And I think what Maryland has done is, is pretty, is pretty, I wouldn’t say, yeah I would say it’s typical. It’s a very, yeah, so we’ll go through that.

Gtgt Okay. gtgt But they do vary from state to state. You, you need to know that some states still view incarceration as voluntary unemployment. And they will not cut a special deal for anybody who’s been incarcerated. gtgt Like Virginia. gtgt Yeah. And, and some others. But again, they, they have to have the statutory to forgive this. There was one state that started, you know, forgiving debt and they got slammed down and said wait a minute, you know, you don’t have the authority to do that. So it does require statutory authority.

But Layla I think will cover a nice program that, that Maryland has. And I do have some information about what states are doing state by state. So at the end take a look at my contact information and I’ll see about sharing it or if I can’t share that document with you in draft form, I can at least talk to you a little bit about what’s going on in your state. Let’s go to fact number three. That child support has large powerful systems that include many, many automated functions.

And these systems rely heavily on national employment related information such as new hire reports and quarterly waged data wide. This is something a lot of people don’t know. But the federal office of child enforcement houses all the quarterly wage data in the country. We also have a federal case registry, which contains millions, and millions of child support cases and orders. And these two databases are constantly matching and sending data to the states involved. So that’s, this was set up in 1996 as part of inaudible so that if Kansas.

And Missouri are both looking for the same obligor, as soon as he gets a job, Kansas and Missouri are going to say, are going to give data saying you know you’ve got a job, and you know what Missouri, Kansas is looking for him. And you know what Kansas, Missouri’s looking for him. And that idea is so that state’s will get on the phone and start working cases together to find parents to, if they’re not in quarterly wage, and we, and many people are not. Other, other databases such as child support uses to locate parents include matches.

That we conduct with the Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, I’m sorry it’s the slide. Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigations, the National Security Agency and the Social Security Administration. So there are lots of big matches going on all the time. Slide. The states conduct similar matches. States match their own employment data with their child support caseload. They also match with other in state databases for locating people. Typically the Department of Motor Vehicles. Some others have other things arranged with other big databases around the state. And that can vary.

As in the federal system, jobs that have quarterly wages are found readily. So you know it’s our goal to see people have above ground legal employment, but if they’re going to be found then child support is garnished right away, we know that this can be a disincentive and they may go underground. So that’s why it’s critical that when a child support issue is covered, it’s let’s try to get to the bottom of it. gtgt Inaudible. gtgt The employer receives notice to begin garnishing wages, when a quarterly wage matches.

With a child support case, an income withholding order is automatically sent to the employer. And the employer must garnish the wages or face serious penalties. Garnishments are subject to the Consumer Credit Protection Act limits of 50 to 65 percent of the paycheck. This can be a tremendous amount of money coming out of a small paycheck, and a large paycheck, especially if the order was set too high. I just want to say a few words on employers as many of you may be working with small employers who are not that familiar with child support matters.

Especially income withholding orders. Please note that most, well not most, all child support agencies in the country, all state offices have staff that’s dedicated to working with employers. And they offer training and other kinds of support for these employers. Some of them even have dedicated 800 lines for employers. So if you’re encountering a situation where the employer is withholding too much, by all means try to get that taken care of right away. And then, and on the back slide I’ll give you a website where you can go.

To where you can see how child support is supposed to be calculated. You should also note too that there is a federal law that says someone cannot fire somebody, or cannot not hire somebody the individual has a child support matter. Of course, that’s difficult to prove, but again our desires work well with employer’s lives. gtgt Karen there’s a question maybe now would be a good time. Steven are you able to unmute and ask your question gtgt Can you hear me gtgt Yes. gtgt Sure can. gtgt Oh hello.

My question, well two questions both relate to the CCPA and the withholding. Does, is there a limit on multiple child support orders In other one, in other words if one child support agency says well we can get 50 percent of this paycheck, they send out a wage withholding order. But another child support agency from another county or another state sends out a withholding order that says we want 50 percent. gtgt Yeah. gtgt What happens in that situation Inaudible. gtgt There is a, there is information on our website that will tell an employment how,.

What to do when he’s got two orders coming in from different states, and how to allocate across those orders. gtgt Okay. gtgt I believe it’s there Steven. If it’s not, get in touch inaudible. gtgt And I’m sorry I missed. I missed your website at the beginning of this. gtgt Oh, I’m going to have it as the last slide. gtgt Okay. gtgt And, and Drew will be getting the slides out to you. But it’s basically if you can take up to 50 percent of the paycheck for one order,.

If it’s current, 55 percent for one order if it’s in arrears, 60 percent for two orders if they’re current, and 65 percent if both, both orders are in arrears. gtgt Okay. gtgt So it’s quite a, it’s, it’s tangled. I mean it’s really, yeah, it’s, yeah it is. And then I, I, but there’s not, there should be no, there should be no instances where somebody’s getting a dollar in their paycheck. gtgt Yeah. gtgt Is what I’m trying to say. And I’d be happy to work with you to get you to the right resources.

To get things like that resolved. gtgt Thank you. gtgt So, and, and I, I want to get through this because as Layla’s going, oh I’ve only got a couple more slides. So some, something I would recommend that you do if you’re working reentry, again, many child support agencies are very interested in working with obligors. We’re recognizing the role that incarceration is playing in child support. Some child support agencies will say the three, five up to 10 percent of the child support caseload is incarcerated. States are able to say things like, you know,.

30 percent of our obligors are not paying their child support because they were formerly incarcerated. So incarceration, we’re coming to realize, is playing a big role in our ability to, to collect child support. So kids get support. But there’s also a growing realization that, that it’s important to keep families, to support men as well as women in this whole family kind of dynamic. So the, one of the best things you can do is go to your local support agency, you know, try to establish a working relationship with them.

Many times, they’ll, they’ll, they like the idea of being able to be part of the problem solving. And I hope I’m, I’m, I hope I’m not wrong about that. But because certainly since we get from the emails that we’re hearing from around the country. But it’s important that when you’re working with these parents, if they lose a job or anything like that, have them get in touch with the child support agency right away. And the last fact, fact four is that states and local child support policies vary.

In how they address persons with barriers from employment. I told you earlier that some will view incarceration as voluntary unemployment. Some will, there, there is the sense that people stay underemployed, is this this real desire to get out there and make sure people are working as hard as they can for their kids. So, and that will vary from state to state. So it’s important that you learn about your local child support agency and, and how to work with them. I’m going to stop here because I took, I took way too much time.

And Layla, oh and then that last slide is on our websites. And that has things in there, again, about some federal assistance I told you about. How you find people. There’s information on employers fair. There’s publications that we have. A lot of them are in Spanish. There’s a nice glossary of child support inaudible that’s available. There’s links to different states so you can see how they’re set up. There’s contact information. And there’s also information on there on access and visitation. And I didn’t really talk about that, but I know that’s a huge issue.

If you have parents who say that they’re paying their child support, or they don’t get to see their kids, there are, there are grant monies available to help in those kinds of situations. So the last slide has my contact information. I’d be happy to hear from you. I just, I love the work you guys are doing. Again, anything we can do to help. So thanks, and I’ll turn this over to Layla. gtgt Well, let me, thank you Karen. This is just Drew inaudible of the National Crime Prevention Council.

I’m hosting the webinar today. Thanks Karen very much. We have a couple questions outstanding. Maybe you can give them a brief answer right now Karen. gtgt Sure. gtgt The first question’s from, let me back it up. Francesca wanted to know, what if the orders are in the same state, but one is based on divorce, and one is based on child support bureau Do you have a response to that gtgt There really shouldn’t be much of a difference. Most states will view children, there, that would just be another child support order.

What that father gets with the divorce setting though is he gets, he has parental rights and has access and visitation rights to that child. For his out of wedlock child, however, he does not. He will be required to pay child support just as if that child had been born inside of wedlock. I guess that’s the, the best message here is, you know, have your kids inside of wedlock. You know, the, the father’s really have more, they’d have more rights to the child, and it’s a better, there’s a legal framework.

When people get married that children are born into. And when they’re born outside of wedlock, you have to try to recreate that kind of legal, legal framework, both financially and emotionally. gtgt Thanks. Is there, is there one more quick question for Karen Karen’s going to be available towards the end of their hour for my questions. But if you have something, a quick clarifying question, please unmute and ask it now. gtgt How often is the, the earnings thing updated I know it says quarterly, but how far behind is it Karen.

Gtgt I think it’s one quarter behind. gtgt Okay. gtgt I think give them a quarter to get their data together, and their quarter to get it up there so it’s, it’s often a little bit behind. gtgt Do you find that most states keep up with this, or are many behind gtgt They are really monitored closely to make sure that they’re submitting on time. gtgt Okay. gtgt Thanks for the questions. We’re going to, we’re going to go to Layla now. Layla D’Ambrosia is an attorney. And she is, works with Legal Aid Bureau out of Baltimore.

And she’s going to fill us in on sort of the daytoday, nuts and bolts of working with clients and, and people seeking child support. And we’ll go from there. Layla, you available gtgt Yes. gtgt Hi Layla, welcome. gtgt Hi, hi, good afternoon everyone. Before I start, I just wanted to make sure and clear to everyone that what I will be talking about is specific to Maryland. As Karen has said before, child support does vary from state to state. But some things said to be more or less the same across the nation.

So hopefully this will be of some help to all of you. So for the legal aid bureau I mostly deal with noncustodial parents who are confronted with child support payments in arrears that they cannot pay for a variety of reasons. So I help them try to settle things down a little bit for them. I come across five major areas. And those are listed here on the slide. I help them to modify an order because the parent is incarcerated, or is unemployed. Or, has currently has custody of the child who is the subject of this child support order.

I also help them with reinstating their driver’s licenses. Because in Maryland as I will say in further detail later on, if the parent is more than 60 days late in child support payments, the license can be suspended. Also, the lowincome population that we deal here, especially in Baltimore City, frequently they’re transient. So notices that the court sends out to the parents often are sent out to the wrong address, so the parent does not receive a notice, does not appear in court for a hearing, and then a warrant will be issued out against them.

So I also help them with quashing these warrants. And last, but not least, probably the biggest chunk of my time is devoted to working out with the local child support enforcement agency, and trying to see if they’re willing to work with me and the noncustodial parent and reduce the amount of state owed child support arrears. Slide please. In Maryland, child support cannot be modified retroactively. That means that the court can only modify a child support order from the time the parent files a motion to modify. They cannot go before a time.

So that is why it’s absolutely vital that people know that they have the right to file a motion to modify as soon as there is a significant change in circumstances, which in Maryland means there’s a 25 percent change or more in their income. So that, obviously, when a parent is incarcerated that’s a significant change in income. And basically, it goes down to zero. So they must immediately file a motion to modify child support and have the obligation suspended until the release from incarceration. The problem is that many, many people, I’d say the majority do not know about this.

So they do not file when they are incarcerated. And once they come out of incarceration they find themselves hit with tens of thousands of dollars in child support then. So that is the one area that I think is absolutely for this state, and the nation in general to resolve. Then equally, if the noncustodial parent is unemployed, the same thing. He or she must file a motion to modify the child support and reduce it back to an amount that he or she is able, effectively able to pay.

Again, whenever a motion to modify if filed, it has to be done as soon as the change occurs. Next, slide please. And that is why also when the parent, the noncustodial parent really gains custody of the child, that’s the same thing. He or she must go to the court and file a motion to modify based on retroactive custody. This, this must be done as soon as the parent regains custody of the child that is the subject of the order. This may happen because the other parent may have problems of his or her own, and you know,.

Gives the child to the other parent temporarily, or many, many times permanently. And this happens very frequently, I’ve come across many people that have their child living with them, and still have child support orders out against them. gtgt Yes. gtgt So, they have to file this motion to modify. And in that same motion, they need to also ask for formal custody of the child. Because obviously if the parent has formal legal custody of the child, a child, a child support order cannot be set against them. Slide please.

Other than modifying child support, another big area in Maryland at least, is a driver’s license suspension. Of course, a license can be suspended for a variety of reasons. You know, DUI, DWI, too many points, fake IDs. But a big factor is also nonpayment of child support. In Maryland if the parent is 60 days late, the department of motor vehicles can be notified to suspend the license. And the suspension can delayed, or if it has already happened, the license can be reinstated for a, for a, you know, a list of factors, and that is if the parent needs a license to work.

Now most of the times if that’s the case, the office of child support may issue a work restricted license instead. Or the parent is disabled and has proof of his or her disability and cannot, cannot work and cannot pay child support. Or the parent needs. gtgt Turn it off when it’s over. Okay. gtgt Or the parent. gtgt Be careful. gtgt The parent, or the parent needs a license to comply with a court order, or the parent has either paid off their inaudible in full, or has been current.

For the past six months in the current child support payments, thus showing a good faith effort. Next, slide please. As I mentioned earlier, however, a big chunk of my practice is devoted to arrears. As I said, especially when very frequently with previously incarcerated people, when they come out of incarceration, they have really large amount of child support that, and that causes a whole series of problems, ranging from, as I said, drivers license suspension to you know, reporting to the credit bureaus, interception of tax refunds, interception of the stimulus check.

You know, passport denial, a whole, you know, a whole variety of consequences. So it’s very important for them to see if the, if the office of child support can work with them and reduce the amount that they owe. I know that not all states are willing to do this. For example, Pennsylvania does not settle arrears at all. But Maryland’s fortunate enough, we’re fortunate, fortunate enough that some settlement leeway is available. Child support arrears are, can be of two types. They can be either owed to the custodial parent, or they can be owed to the state,.

As Karen point, pointed out whenever the custodial parent seeks public benefits, then she usually she will have to assign her rights to child support to the state. So whatever is owed to the, to the custodial parent can only be forgiven by the custodial parent. And I have also noticed that sometimes they, they are willing to forgive as long as the noncustodial parent begins, or resumes paying current child support. But the agreement has to be, obviously voluntary. Has to be in writing. Has to be notarized. And has to be accompanied by a photocopy of the mom’s ID.

Gtgt Layla, there’s a question on the floor here. Unassigned arrears versus assigned arrears, is there a difference, or is that gtgt Inaudible. gtgt Well, you know, terminology I think varies. But I think assigned arrears means that they’re assigned to the state. gtgt Okay. Okay well, all right. gtgt Okay. Well then, let’s see if we’re, next slide please. Arrears owed to the state. Now Maryland has placed, actually these are, you know, part of them, part of the, what I’m going to say is statutory based, and part of it is just based.

On the policy of the agency itself. But the, the state office of child support, may agree to settle for less, if certain conditions apply. Now the first one that you see is basically a sure shot way of getting the state to reduce their arrears. And that is basically when the child has been living with, and has been supported by the noncustodial parent for at least the past 12 months. And the noncustodial parent also has to have an income that below 225 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

And all, if all those three conditions apply, many times the office of child support will agree to settle for lesser amount of arrears. The following reason, or the following factors, you know, are more discretionary. Sometimes settlements do occur, sometimes they don’t. So for example, the noncustodial parent was either incarcerated, unemployed, or lived with a child when their arrears were accumulating, or the noncustodial parent is presently disabled and cannot work, and has sufficient documentation to prove that. And finally, when the noncustodial is, right now, living with the child,.

Even if it has been less than 12 months. gtgt Layla, there’s a question from Greg. And he says, it seems, are you there Greg gtgt Yeah I’m. gtgt Go ahead, ask the question. gtgt Well I just basically asked is there a difference if it’s confined to the state to repay inaudible as opposed to be assigned to the state to repay Medicaid, and are you seeing more of this Medicaid reimbursement gtgt There shouldn’t, no there shouldn’t be a difference no. gtgt Okay. gtgt Not when it comes down to settling arrears.

Gtgt Okay. gtgt Okay, because many times it, it’s either inaudible or is, sometimes it’s a foster care system. For example, the child has been in foster care for a period of time, for whatever reason were never basically the same, the inaudible services, either to the child or because of a parent, or to, or to the custodial parent. They will assign child support to the state. gtgt Is it the same agency then, your inaudible agency to Medicaid, it’s in the same place gtgt I’m taking the test. gtgt Sorry, what did you say.

Gtgt Is your inaudible agency, and your Medicaid agency in Maryland, are, are they both housed in the same place gtgt I think so, yes, but I’m not positive. I think it’s the Department of Social Services, yes. gtgt Okay. gtgt But as far as child supports concerned, it doesn’t make a difference. Yes, okay, the final slide. Yeah aside from what I’ve just spoken, there’s also a new program that the legislator has passed into law recently. And it has become effective on June first of this year. And it’s called the child support payment incentive program,.

Whereby if the noncustodial parent makes 12 consecutive child support payments, the state owed arrears will be reduced by 50 percent. And if the parent makes 24 consecutive child support payments, the arrears will be completely erased. Again, for the parents who qualify, the arrears have to be owed to the state. Here or she must have an income below a certain level that’s 225 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Basically, the parent can quality for food stamps. The parent can qualify for this program. And also he has or she has three chances to do this program.

After the third chance, you know, after the third strike he’s out. But it’s a new program, and as far as I know, it’s not yet implemented, but I will push that it will. Because it’s on the law books. So it has to start be implemented as soon as possible. And that ends my presentation. And does anyone have questions, or gtgt I have a question. gtgt Sure. gtgt How does a parent file for reduction in child support from prison gtgt In Maryland, it’s just by filing a motion to modify child support.

Gtgt Okay. gtgt Same in Indiana. gtgt Sorry gtgt That’s the same in Indiana. gtgt Yeah, yeah. It, it’s, they can file, you know a pro se. In Maryland, there is an organization that helps already incarcerated parents to file that. I don’t know elsewhere how it works. But. gtgt Some states have a real outreach effort going on with their prisons. gtgt Right. gtgt And they will have a DVD playing in the background that talks about child support and how to modify those orders, and so forth. So it’ll depend on the state of course.

But we have some of those materials available to, to share. gtgt I have a question. gtgt But still, but Layla how long would you say it takes a review and modification to be processed gtgt In the courts gtgt Yeah, for, what would you think for. gtgt In, in Maryland it would be about a year. gtgt Yeah, there’s a. gtgt I mean in Baltimore City, yes. gtgt It’s a long time. gtgt It is a long time. gtgt That a regulation there allows 180 days, which is six months.

A lot of debt can accrue during that time. So there are states that are hard at work at trying to find ways to modify an order, you know, streamline that whole modification process. Again, if mom is part of the picture, you know, there, if you can, a lot of this is involved with crowded court dockets. It’s all, you know, serving people, service of process. Giving them 30 days to respond and get the information. The other party has 30 days. If you can get parents on the same page, a lot of that time can be cut.

Of course, it depends on the child support agency and if they’ve taken those steps to streamline the modification process. gtgt Right. gtgt I, I have a question Layla. This is Daphne from New York State. In regards to inaudible incarcerated, the, there’s a situation in here in our state where both parents are, are not in the home, not in the home. One’s incarcerated, ones in the military. gtgt Okay. gtgt DSS decided to go after the mom, who is in the military for the child support. Once the father is released, will he be, because he already has a child support case open.

Will he be, do they go after both parents child support, or do they just continue to go after the mother gtgt It depends also, on who has the child. gtgt The grandmothers have joint custody. gtgt Yeah they can have, go after both parents. gtgt Okay. gtgt Child welfare that’s very typical, they’ll automatically go after mother as well as father. gtgt Yeah. Yeah, if, if the, if neither parent has custody of the child, then both are, have to pay child support. gtgt Okay, thank you. gtgt You’re welcome.

Gtgt I have a question. My name’s Steven, calling from Cincinnati. I’ve been deeply enmeshed in this whole reentry child support problem for several years. And seeing the need for change. I’m curious. I understand that this, the changes Layla you mentioned in Maryland, particularly the child support incentive program. I think it. gtgt Yes. gtgt That that was a recent change. gtgt Right. gtgt And I, I think I spoke with somebody from Justice, Maryland, an organization there that helps advocate for that program. gtgt Public Justice gtgt Maybe that was it.

Gtgt Okay. gtgt Public Justice, Maryland. I’m not sure. It was an organization that was working with people. Incarcerated people I believe for reentry population. I’m just curious. The, the, if you have any insight on the public policy advocacy piece of this. gtgt Well, it was pushed, well first of all legal aid, because of inaudible restrictions we cannot lobby. gtgt Sure. gtgt And we cannot do class actions either. But in order for us to testify in anything, we have to be invited. gtgt Yeah. gtgt And so another nonprofit has invited legal aid to testify in this.

It was my predecessor, so I, I. gtgt Hey Layla gtgt Yes. gtgt This is, this is Melissa Broome from the Job Opportunities Task Force. gtgt Oh yes, okay. Right, right. gtgt Hi. gtgt So that was it. Yes. gtgt We actually are the, one of the groups that sort of, we’re a, we do public policy at the state level. So we are heavily involved in, in the bill. It took two years to get passed. And like Layla said, her predecessor Kisha Brown was very helpful in coming down.

And testifying in our state capital, you know. So we are excited about the program. It passed in the legislature in 2007. But it didn’t, it wasn’t to go into effect until June first. gtgt First. And, but it hasn’t even you know. gtgt Right. Well it’s kind of, we’re working with child support enforcement agency very closely right now to make sure that it is rolling out. And that people are aware that it’s even available to them. And that’s part of our job is going to be to help publicize this.

So that people know that, you know, ask to apply for it. gtgt And could I get your information I’m sorry what’s your. gtgt Sure. gtgt Organization gtgt It’s Melissa Broome, BROOME. gtgt Okay. gtgt And I’m with the Job Opportunities Task Force. gtgt And that’s a free standing. gtgt It’s an. gtgt Nonprofit. gtgt Independent, yeah an independent. gtgt Okay. gtgt Nonprofit. gtgt Okay. gtgt Nonpartisan. And my email is just Melissa at JOTF. gtgt Okay, thank you. gtgt Just send me an email and we can. gtgt Okay. gtgt Talk about that.

Gtgt Great. gtgt Sure. gtgt Thanks Melissa that’s great. gtgt Sure. gtgt Another question for either Karen or Layla. gtgt Yeah, I’ve got a question. gtgt Go ahead. gtgt Can I get clarification on what was, what is the Bradley Amendment again I missed that part at the beginning. I think it was the first part. gtgt Yeah, Bradley Amendment came about I think it’s in the early 80s, very early 80s. And what it says is, you can’t forgive child support debt retroactively. So in other words, and you know, we were all so happy when that law came about.

But now it’s worked its way into this kind of nightmarish situation. gtgt Right. gtgt And it was set up because, again, large child support debt was accruing. Guys were not paying their child support, leaving families destitute. And then we would finally catch up with them and get them into court, the judge would just look at it and say well you can’t pay 30,000 dollars. Let’s just, let’s just forget that. gtgt Right. gtgt And you know what, your orders too high, let’s just make it 50 bucks. And you know, pay that, and, and it’ll be fine.

Well he wouldn’t pay it, and he would leave again. And in the meantime, he has this, the obligor has the ability to buy and sell houses and own property, and really, you know, there was very little to, to have any kind of leverage to get, to get him to pay child support. So the Bradley Amendment was good in that it really held his feet to the fire. And you know, would not allow them to walk away from their families. Again, this was a time when, when we were talking child support,.

Was basically divorce situations. Where out of wedlock inaudible was not where it is today. And so these were, you know, marriages that broke up where one parent was leaving, leaving behind financial obligations. So it was a, a somewhat different landscape back then. gtgt Thanks for the clarification. gtgt Sure. gtgt Rhonda asks the question. She says, is there a form that inmates can use to initiate a motion for modification gtgt Where is Rhonda from gtgt Don’t know for sure. gtgt It varies from state to state. There is, at least in Maryland, if you go to the judiciary webpage,.

And I suppose every judiciary, you know, webpage has this pro se forms. And under the family law forms, there should be a form entitled motion to modify. That, you know, unrepresented, unrepresented litigants can use. So that would be the form that I would recommend anyone use. But it. gtgt I just like, oh go ahead. gtgt No, I’m just saying it varies from state to state. So there isn’t one single form that the entire states can use. gtgt In, in Ohio, I’ll say, and this may be true in other states.

It’s fairly significant where the difference between applying for that modification with the court, whether it’s the juvenile court or the domestic relations court, versus applying for the modification with child support agency. They are two totally different entities. They have different rules on how they, what they can modify, what they can’t modify. And there are different kind of vibes I guess is the best way to say it. gtgt Yeah. gtgt It would be much more stern. And the agency would be much more flexible, at least in Ohio.

Gtgt Well in, in, well in Maryland, the order, it always starts with a court order, and only through the, through, only through the court can the order be modified. So they can talk to the office of the child support beforehand and say look, I lost my job, what not. And they may agree, the office may agree to a lower level. But in the end, it has to go through the court. gtgt I, I wonder too though if this might have to do with the difference between 4D,.

Title 4D of the Social Security Act, child or what we call a child support case, versus a private child support matter. Whereas, where you don’t, for, for it to be a 4D case, mother has to go in and apply for child support enforcement services. That’s, that may be at play in, in your particular situation. Where the private is held in a different venue than, than the non4D. I don’t know, I’m just, I’m just. gtgt Inaudible. gtgt Thinking that might be a different. gtgt It was a study of a social.

Gtgt Karen that’s the case in Indiana. gtgt Yeah. gtgt It’s two different places. gtgt Yeah, yeah. Okay, thanks Greg. gtgt Greg ask your question about the service, or the. gtgt In Maryland, when you are giving service, you know on the modifications, do you have to serve the mother Is there a, what, what is kind of service Were kind of going through that now, does it have to be just a letter in the mail gtgt Yes. gtgt Or do you have to have actually Sheriff, actually get a.

Gtgt No, no. gtgt Signature. gtgt If it’s a motion to modify on a case that has already been in, in the court, then no, it just has to be mailed. gtgt Okay, good, thank you. gtgt You’re welcome. gtgt I have a couple more questions. Let me see what, I’m sorry, I lost the question I had here. How, one question, how do court’s arrest fathers who are in arrears on child support, and doesn’t this violate the U.S. Constitution The question came about from like, you can’t be thrown in jail because of other kinds of debt,.

But you can for arrearages in child support. gtgt Is this for me gtgt Yeah, I guess so. gtgt Well, yes, well. Child support is viewed as a judgment, rather than a debt. gtgt Okay. gtgt So that, you know, the difference is very technical. But basically, because it’s a judgment, the court can find you in contempt of not paying the judgment. And so, but basically what has to happen, at least here in Maryland, is that, say for example the noncustodial parent hasn’t been paying. Then he receives a notice to show up in court for contempt hearing.

If the court finds that the parent is, is not paying, but is able to pay, then the court can find him in civil contempt and place him to jail until the parent, you know, coughs up some money. However, if the parent is, is unable to pay, then the court cannot put him in jail. gtgt I’d like to just chime in briefly. I just, it, it’s worse than even that. In Ohio, for instance, it’s a felony if you fall far enough behind in your child support. gtgt That’s crazy.

Gtgt But you can be incarcerated, you can be locked up for a child support contempt, which they call a civil punishment. And then later be charged with a felony for the exact same period of time, and it’s not considered double jeopardy because it’s, one the civil contempt is not criminal punishment. And so you can be actually incarcerated for the same failure to pay. gtgt And it’s a felony gtgt And it’s a felony. Even if have six months behind. If you’re up, over six months behind you can be indicted, in Ohio.

Gtgt That that is absolutely insane. gtgt It is. And we’re topping out 50,000 files. gtgt Inaudible 5,000 dollars it’s a felony. gtgt I’m sorry what gtgt In Missouri, it’s, it’s a felony over 5,000 dollars if you’re behind. gtgt Yeah. Yeah, in Ohio state inaudible but yeah I imagine other states there’s, be curious to know if there’s other states that actually have criminal provisions for failure to pay. And how that interacts with the civil contempt because the, both of those mechanisms for punishment interact with each other. gtgt No we don’t, for ours it’s not a felony, no.

Gtgt Yeah. gtgt Not at all. gtgt County your lucky stars. gtgt Yeah, yeah, thank, yeah thank heaven. gtgt I, I have one question from Gene that says, is full time employment required before wages to pay arrearages are garnished Or does part time wage apply gtgt Part time wage applies, any wage applies. So long as there is a wage. So if he’s, you know, if he’s working full time, a full time check would be 500 dollars, you would take the child support out, out of the 500. If he’s working part time, you would take the order out.

You would have to, you would have to allocate it so that you, you know, you didn’t hit the inaudible limits. But yeah, even part time work counts. gtgt Okay. I’m going, what I’m going to do now, we’re at the top of our hour. We’ve passed our hour. I just want to present a couple things. First of all there’ll be, there should be an evaluation sent to you, those who have participated. I really would appreciate if you’d go to that website, fill out the evaluation, takes three minutes.

And that way we can keep these webinars going. So there’s the link for it. If, that should work, but if it doesn’t, I might send it to you in another method. But I really want you to take that evaluation. And then the second thing is, here’s our, our contact information. So maybe if you want to jot this down. Or you can send it to me, and I can certainly get in contact with, I, I can send you a Karen, or, oh a terrible color. Karen or Layla’s email address.

Take this color off. Anyway, I was trying to write my, I was trying to write my email, but it has a terrible color. Let me try to change that color. gtgt I like color Drew. gtgt Yeah, really. Chuckles That was dreadful. Let me try again. gtgt I can see it. gtgt Yeah. gtgt And yeah, I can barely make it out. Oh well, anyway. Dcarberry, DCARBERRY. I’m at NCPC. And I can get the slide presentation to you if you want the Power Point file on that we, we can do that.

So I wanted you to have Layla’s and Karen’s emails, if you had a specific question because we could, we had a number of questions I couldn’t, just couldn’t get to. Karen and Layla will stay on the line for a minute or two, if, if there’s some other questions you want to ask. We’ll do that. Otherwise, I’m just going to thank them and thank you for participating. gtgt Inaudible. gtgt We’ll be here for a moment to do that. But I just want to thank you for participating. Please do the evaluation and we’ll try it again next time.

If there’s a question go ahead. gtgt Has anybody, this is Ruth inaudible with legal aid out in Michigan. Has anybody dealt with paternity issues when there’s already child support arrears gtgt How do you mean gtgt Yeah, how do you mean gtgt Like, like I have a client who has child support arrears. The child’s about two or three. And he’s like well, I’m not the father, I don’t believe I’m the father. And I think, he alleges some service problems. There are some service issues, but I mean, there’s already arrears accrued, and I’m wondering, I mean.

Gtgt I’ll tell you what, this happens. One case that we just have here, kind of the opposite. But we had a client who did not think he was the father. The child’s five years. He, they, so the person who was named as the father in the welfare case, when he got out of prison when the child was five years old, the paternity test, it’s not his. All the arrearage has been transferred to the, the actual father five years later. gtgt Oh, okay. So we’re in process of dealing with that one now.

Gtgt So that was changed. gtgt Could be done. gtgt How did you find the actual father gtgt Yeah. gtgt That can vary from state to state. When they find out that, well you know, people can ask for genetic tests. gtgt Right. gtgt They should do that if they have any kind of doubt at all. But when a woman comes in for welfare, for example, she has to cooperate with child support, she’ll name a father. I have heard of women that will name somebody that they know is incarcerated.

Because they feel well there’s nothing you can do to him, you can’t get your child support. I don’t know how wide spread that is. But not the establishing paternity just on, on that alone. There has, there has to be a genetic test and. gtgt Over here, they can be defaulted. gtgt Yeah in our case, there’s been no genetic test. I mean there, the client does have sickle cell. gtgt I just hate to hear the. gtgt I know, the client, and the child has sickle cell. gtgt Oh dear.

Gtgt We’ve not had a, a test. I mean we’re, we’re going to, I mean the client’s probably not going to go through with it. Because they’ll have to pay for it, you see. gtgt Yeah. gtgt And so he’s not wanting to push it too hard. But there was not a test. gtgt Yeah. gtgt They just. gtgt You know I, I can’t speak to default paternity that much. I was told it’s sort of rare. gtgt Inaudible. gtgt There must have been a lot of extenuating circumstances. They must have been, you know, living together as a couple.

There must have been something that, that gave the court. gtgt Both men were in prison. gtgt What was that gtgt She just named the wrong one. It wasn’t. One, when he got out, he said that’s not my, you mean I owe this child support, that’s not my kid. gtgt Right. gtgt He took the paternity test, it’s not his. The child came back with sickle cell. Showed up at the house and said this has got to be your kid. That’s exactly what happened. gtgt Right. gtgt So now, and then about a week later, we got a letter from the child support office.

That they wanted to, they’re in the process now of what I assume is transferring the, the arrearage. That’s what we assume is happening. We’ve not gone to court yet, so we’re not sure. But we know, we assume that’s what’s going to happen. gtgt Oh. gtgt Boy, you could talk all day about paternity. gtgt Yeah. gtgt That, that in and of itself is. gtgt Here, it’s a huge issue, because it’s not any kind of extenuating circumstances. As long as there is surveys, and you know, whether they got it or not,.

As long as they supposedly were served, that’s it. If they didn’t respond, they’re defaulted. gtgt Yeah. gtgt Too bad. gtgt And that service of process is so iffy. You know, people can have so many addresses. gtgt Right. gtgt And you know how often that service of process is hitting it’s mark, I don’t know. gtgt Right. gtgt You’re raising an interesting point for our case. We got to find out if the fellow was served. gtgt Yeah. gtgt Right, that’s, that’s the one thing that we attack if we can, is we look at the service.

Because that’s something that we can easily go. But you know the fact that there wasn’t a DNA test that matters not to anyone here. gtgt Yeah, no. gtgt How long is it initiated How, how long do you got to request the studies, or the DNA test gtgt I think easily a year. You can get, you know, if, if they defaulted someone, you got a year to satisfy the judgment. But after that, you’re, I mean, you’re kind of at the mercy of the prosecutor. gtgt Okay. gtgt Or the judge.

Gtgt Or the, okay. gtgt Yeah. Definitely. I’ve, I’ve seen cases where the judge orders a DNA test in cases, which the judge doesn’t. There’s a case in Maryland that just came down from a court of appeals. Denying the father who, well, a father who had a vasectomy, then four years later the wife gave birth to a child. And 13 years later, he, he contested paternity, and the court didn’t allow that. gtgt Oh they didn’t gtgt Wow. gtgt No. gtgt Because he had, probably because he had a relationship.

GtgtYeah, yeah, 13 years is a long time, and he held himself out to be the father. And he didn’t want to terminate parental rights anyways. gtgt Oh. gtgt He just didn’t want to pay child support. So the court in that case said no. But that was 13 years. gtgt Yeah. gtgt And he, he should have known, because he had a vasectomy. So. gtgt Right. gtgt Chances are the child isn’t his, but, so in that case it was completely a benefit, you know a best interest of the child standard.

Gtgt Right. Right. gtgt And this is true. gtgt We have something on the website called the intergovernmental referral guide. It’s the IRG. And when you go to our homepage on OCFE and that provides that he gets out, if you look for that intergovernmental referral guide and click on that, you’ll find state maps. And it, it contains the state profile of, of every state. So that, by that I mean it just gives you a thumb nail sketch of how child support is administered in that state. And it talks about things like the statute of limitations, age of majority, paternity,.

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